Island church members quit over gay clergy row

Church of Scotland in Tarbert, Harris. Picture: Contributed

Church of Scotland in Tarbert, Harris. Picture: Contributed

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ALMOST half of a Church of Scotland congregation in the Western Isles has voted to leave over the ongoing gay clergy row.

Ninety four members of Tarbert and Harris congregation have decided to depart, while 131 voted to remain with the Church of Scotland.

Those who have opted to quit will set up a Free Church congregation in Tarbert.

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

Acting principal clerk, the Reverend Dr George Whyte said: “We are saddened by the planned departure of around 90 members and adherents from Tarbert Church. They will be missed and we wish them well for the future.

“However, our duty now is to the 130 members and adherents who are choosing to remain with the Church of Scotland.”

Last week, two Church of Scotland ministers quit the Kirk and announced their defection to the Free Church of Scotland.

The departure of Rev David Macleod and Rev Roddy MacRae means the Kirk now only has one full-time minister in the western Highlands.

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