Holy row over council HQ church in Aberdeen

Marischal College and Greyfriars John Knox Church The row involves Marischal College and Greyfriars John Knox Church

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The leader of Aberdeen City Council has criticised the Church of Scotland over a disused church next to the local authority's new headquarters.

The council begins moving into the restored Marischal College granite landmark in June, and most of the building has been cleaned.

The former Greyfriars church remains a much darker shade of grey.

The Church of Scotland hit back at council leader John Stewart's criticism over the building, which is for sale.

The church has been on the market for £1.2m for about three years.

The council is a potential buyer.

Mr Stewart told BBC Scotland: "It's extremely disappointing that an organisation that many people hold in high regard has been so awkward."

David Robertson, secretary of the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland, said: "The council first approached us in 2004 expressing an interest in purchasing the building.

"We were happy to enter into discussions about this but the council failed to follow up on its proposal.

"We are extremely disappointed and saddened that Cllr Stewart has seen fit to negotiate through the loudspeaker of the press.

"We reaffirm that we have been and remain open to sensible discussions but that has not happened."

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