Highlands & Islands

Ten congregations assess leaving Church of Scotland

The Church of Scotland has said about 10 out of its 1,400 congregations are considering leaving the Kirk in a row over the issue of gay ministers.

Earlier this week, members of one of the Kirk's biggest congregations on the Western Isles voted to quit.

The Kirk said leaving now was "premature" as the General Assembly had upheld its traditional doctrine on ministers in same sex relationships.

The recent decision was made to allow more time for talks on the matter.

At a meeting in the High Church in Stornoway on Tuesday night, 200 members of the congregation backed a move to leave the Kirk.

They have been unhappy at the way the Church of Scotland has handled the issue of the ordination of gay ministers.

The Western Isles' Kinloch and Tarbert congregations have also been considering their position.

In a statement, the Church of Scotland said: "Although we understand only around 10 out of 1,400 congregations are considering leaving, we value the fellowship we share with all our members and would be sad if they left.

"We believe any decision to leave would be premature as the Church at its recent General Assembly decided to uphold its traditional doctrine on ministers in same sex relationships while taking longer to consider whether to allow individual congregations the option of calling a minister in a same sex relationship.

"No final decision has been made."

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