Friday , 27 May 2022

Church of Scotland Moderator to support pro equality Stornoway congregation

Stornoway High Church
Stornoway High Church

The Moderator of the Church of Scotland is to visit Stornoway and preach to the isles’ congregation who stayed with the church following the gay clergy row.

The Right Reverend John Chalmers, Moderator of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly, had previously tried to prevent a split in the congregation of Stornoway High, which was one of the Kirk’s biggest congregations.

However, in May, a group of 250 worshippers – including the entire kirk session – left to join the Free Church after the General Assembly voted to allow gay men and women to become ministers.

Chalmers previously praised the vote as historic and said it was “a massive vote for the peace and unity of the church.”

The issue, nevertheless, has caused divisions in some congregations, with anti-equality opponents arguing that it “goes against the word of God”.

The visit by Rt Rev Chalmer this Sunday is seen as a morale boost for the 100 strong congregation that stayed to worship at Stornoway High.

The new Free Church congregation is currently worshipping in a primary school in Stornoway.

The Moderator will be on Lewis for a week, with his main preaching engagement at Stornoway High on Sunday when he takes the morning service.

He will later participate in the evening service at Martin’s Memorial Church, also in Stornoway.

Earlier this year, amid the looming split, Chalmers visited Stornoway High in his then role as the principal clerk to the Church of Scotland and answered queries at a congregational meeting.

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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