More congregations leave Church of Scotland in row about ministers in same-sex relationships

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Members of one of the Church of Scotland’s biggest congregations on the Western Isles have voted to leave the Kirk over the issue of ordaining gay ministers in active same-sex relationships.

At a meeting in the High Church in Stornoway on Tuesday night, 200 people backed the split.

Last month, the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly passed a motion to allow the ordination and appointment of ministers in active same-sex relationships.

However, General Assembly rules dictate it must be approved at a presbytery level and then rubber-stamped at next year’s gathering.

Kinloch and Stornoway High Church of Scotland, situated on Lewis, stated that the General Assembly should not have tackled the matter.

In February, the Reverend Dominic Smart and his congregation of 300 at Gilcomston South in Aberdeen also left the Church of Scotland.

The congregation took issue with the General Assembly approving the appointment of the openly gay minister Scott Rennie to Queen’s Cross church in Aberdeen in 2009.