A Church of Scotland minister resigned his position to join congregation members who oppose the ordination of openly gay clergy, reported the Scotsman.
Philip Hair, Minister of Holyrood Abbey Church, said that he would be leaving having been called by Holyrood Evangelical Church to become their first minister.
Hair told the Scotsman: “It has been a honour and pleasure to serve the parish of Holyrood Abbey for the past 16 years and it is with great sadness that I and so many others are leaving the Church of Scotland.
“I nevertheless look forward to this new ministry where we will continue to be committed to sharing the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ in Edinburgh.”
Rev Dr George Whyte, Acting Principal Clerk for the Kirk expressed “sadness” ath the departure of the Minister but stated: “An Interim Moderator has already been appointed”.
Some media outlets have reported that the Church of Scotland is facing a ‘staffing crisis’ following the departure of a part of Tarbert’s congregation, and two further resignations in the Western Highlands.
However, the Church of Scotland acting principal clerk George Whyte has previously stated that the Kirk is working to find replacements for vacant minister posts, with an upward recruitment trend of 14 new ministers this year alone.
Moderator of the Presbytery of Lochcarron and Skye, Reverend David Kellas, told STV that the Church is not facing a staffing crisis following the departure of the two ministers.
“We’re not in crisis. We are a little out of breath because so many things have happened all at once, but not in crisis”, said Kellas.
“Rev David Macleod and Rev Roddy MacRae have left us for a church which everyone could see is their natural home.
“They depart at a time when our Presbytery already has a number of vacancies.
“Three of these came about through resignations, two through retiral and one through the translation of the minister to a charge in Moray.
“Of the six, three are in the care of ordained ministers and three of elders trained in this task.
“In every parish there are elders and others who share in the care for the people, and that means for us the whole people, not just our Church members.
“But Noah has not yet walked off the ark nor has the shepherd abandoned his sheep in the spooky glen.”