Church is not singing from same hymn sheet

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A KIRK troubleshooter will tonight be inducted to serve as minister of one of Edinburgh's most prominent churches.

The Rev Russell McLarty has been appointed by the Church of Scotland to sort out divisions in the congregation at St Andrew's and St George's Church in George Street.

The previous minister, the Rev Roderick Campbell, moved to a church in Argyll last month.

The Kirk's Edinburgh presbytery found "problems, tensions and divisions evident in the congregation" and moved to appoint an "interim minister" to resolve the internal conflict.

One bone of contention was the future of the huge Christian Aid book sale for which the church is famous. Some members suspected Rev Campbell wanted to scrap this, although he has denied it.

Other controversial moves included "professionalising" the lunches served during the week in the church's undercroft.

Rev McLarty – who had a spell as minister at St Andrew's Church, Muirhouse – is expected to be in the post for up to 18 months.

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