Glasgow church splits over gay clergy

Congregation in central Glasgow has decided to leave Church of Scotland over the issue of gay clergy

Glasgow church splits over gay clergy
16 July 2012

A 500-strong church congregation has become the first to split from the Church of Scotland over the issue of gay clergy.

Glasgow’s iconic St George’s Tron church took the decision following a meeting on Monday last week (9 July).

The church’s secession decision is due to last year’s verdict by the general assembly of the Church of Scotland’ to accept gay clergy if they had declared their sexuality and were ordained before 2009.

In a press release, the church’s minister Reverend Dr William Philip alleged that the verdict ‘marginalized the Bible, the written word of God.’

He said: ‘Last year, despite having had the clear opportunity, the general assembly failed to reverse the stance taken in 2009 approving the appointment of ordained ministers in same-sex relationships.

‘Instead, it clearly and deliberately chose to set an opposite trajectory towards normalizing such relationships.

‘We believe the Church of Scotland is choosing to walk away from the biblical gospel and to walk apart from the faith of the worldwide Christian Church.’

Rev Dr Philip has been an outspoken critic of the general assembly’s verdict, which he termed at the time a ‘self-destructive folly’ and warned against the ‘inevitably of self-inflicted disaster’.

The decision to split comes despite the Church of Scotland’s insistence that no final decision would be taken on gay ordination until after the 2013 assembly.

St George’s Tron congregation is now seeking to align itself with another denomination, possibly the International Presbyterian Church.

A spokesperson for the Church of Scotland stated they were ‘saddened’ by secession and that discussion will take place with the congregation to ‘clarify the situation’.

The statement also noted that the congregation has still ‘outstanding financial obligations to the Church of Scotland and the General Trustees’ which own the kirk’s building.

Recently Reverend Ivor MacDonald became the first minister to announce his departure from the Church of Scotland which he termed as ‘radically liberal’ due to its 2011 verdict.

Equality along with same-sex marriage remain a divisive issue in the Church of Scotland.

Reverend Scott McKenna, Church of Scotland Minister for Mayfield Salisbury Parish in Edinburgh, previously told GSN that while the church’s official position is undecided, he ‘very much supports equality.

‘If you don’t support equality, you are saying that somehow heterosexual people are better, and LGBT people are somehow not as good.

‘That’s just pure discrimination and homophobia which sanctions personal pain, low self-esteem and ultimately violence against individuals and self. This is a cycle that needs to be broken!’

He also added that his congregation ‘is very supportive of marriage and don’t see what the problem is.’

The Scottish National Party will be having cabinet meeting tomorrow (17 July) to decide whether to introduce a same-sex marriage bill to the Scottish Parliament.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Tory MP and wife accused of groping lesbian maid in threesome attempt

British Conservative politician and his spouse have denied discriminating against their lesbian housekeeper
No thumbnail available

Say so long possums, Dame Edna Everage announces farewell UK tour

Drag character created by Australian comic Barry Humphreys will be performing at the London Palladium to say goodbye
No thumbnail available

Gay pop singer Joe McElderry 'shaken' by stalker

A 53-year-old man has been convicted for stalking UK X Factor winner and his mother
No thumbnail available

Embrace the seafood, seagulls, and sunshine in Boulogne

GSN visits the Boulonnais region on the French coast and returns with happy memories and a killer tan
No thumbnail available

Watch: Moscow Gay Pride takes place in amazing new video

Well not exactly. In a brand new campaign from Benetton, who created the world leaders kissing each other ads from last year, want to fight hatred by imagining positive, inspiring news
No thumbnail available

Two men to face trial for homosexuality in Uganda next month

Two men to be charged with sex ‘against the order of nature’, in the first trial since the passing of the anti-gay law
No thumbnail available

Ed Miliband pledges support for gay marriage campaign

Leader of the opposition Ed Miliband signs Equality Network's Equal Marriage Pledge
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Archie Comics CEO stands up to One Million Moms

Says gay character will live 'happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people'
No thumbnail available

Did acclaimed India director Karan Johar just come out as gay?

Filmmaker says he is not interested in dating women