Another island church may break from Church of Scotland

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Another Western Isles congregation is considering its future as part of the Church of Scotland, it has been confirmed.

The congregation of the Tarbert, Isle of Harris Church of Scotland may consider a move in response to the issue of ordination of gay ministers.

A statement from the Tarbert congregation said: “At a Congregational Meeting of the Tarbert Harris Church of Scotland, held on Tuesday 18th June, a considerable majority of those present gave their support to the Kirk Session in its decision to consider how the congregation might dissociate from the Church of Scotland and associate with another Presbyterian denomination.”

The congregation of the High Church in Stornoway have already agreed this move although a spokesperson for the Church of Scotland said they had received no formal notice.

The spokesperson said: “In the first instance, the office bearers of the church would need to approach Presbytery. As of yesterday, the office bearers of Stornoway High Church had not yet approached Presbytery regarding the decision made on Tuesday night.”

They added: “Although we understand only around ten out of 1400 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.”