The divide over LGBT ministers within the Church of Scotland has re-emerged after a further congregation opted to leave the faith on Tuesday. Kinloch and Stornoway High Church parishioners voted to remove themselves from the church, rejecting the official policy of acceptance towards gay clergy.
Last month, the church’s General Assembly decided for a second time to endorse the appointment and ordination of ministers who are in active same-sex relationships.
Reverend Lorna Hood, moderator of the debate that took place in May, had indicated that many congregations would be displeased with the General Assembly’s decision. It was reported beforehand that as many as 50 congregations might have left the faith over its LGBT policy, out of a total of 1,400 groupings.
“This was a major breakthrough for the Church but we are conscious that some people remain pained, anxious, worried and hurt. We continue to pray for the peace and unity of the Church,” Rev. Hood told BBC News.
The Church of Scotland’s dilemma dates back to 2009, when openly gay minister Scott Rennie was appointed to the Queen’s Cross parish in Aberdeen.
In February, Reverend Dominic Smart led his congregation to leave the church. His parish was subsequently permitted to conduct services again in March, pending the outcome of the Assembly’s vote.