Saturday , 25 January 2020

Tarbert Church of Scotland split over gay ministers

Church of Scotland Tarbert
Church of Scotland Tarbert

Almost half the congregation of the Church of Scotland in Tarbert on the isle of Harris has voted to leave over the church’s vote in favour of the ordination of gay ministers.

Ninety-four members have decided to leave, while 131 voted to remain with the Church of Scotland, according to BBC Scotland.

The Tarbert splinter group said it will now set up a Free Church congregation on the island.

Last week two Western Highlands ministers have decided to leave the Kirk, while in May this year, a group of 250 worshippers left Stornoway High Church on Lewis to join the Free Church.

Before the split, Stornoway High was the Church of Scotland’s biggest congregation on the Western Isles.

The General Assembly voted last May for a proposal that would allow gay men and women to become ministers.

The media first highlighted the debate over the ordination of same-sex clergy in 2009 when openly gay Rev Scott Rennie was appointed to Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen in 2009.

Speaking with KaleidoScot, openly gay Church of Scotland minister Scott Rennie previously said: “Its a source of great sadness that anyone in ministry ever leaves the Kirk, whatever the reason.

“However, there are a number of people who will have been encouraged to train for ministry in a broad and more inclusive church. At the end of the day the Church of Scotland has always been that broad and national church – a church for all the people of Scotland.”

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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