Stornoway congregation to leave Church of Scotland

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The congregation of Stornoway’s High Church is to break away from the Church of Scotland over the gay clergy row.

Over 200 members of the High Church in Stornoway, in the Western Isles, backed the split.

The congregation has been unhappy at the way the Church of Scotland has handled the issue of the ordination of gay ministers.

They follow a small number of congregations on the Scottish mainland who have decided to leave the Church of Scotland.

Kinloch and Tarbert congregations, also in the Western Isles, are currently considering their position.

A Church of Scotland 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.”