Kirk seeks to wrest church from former congregation

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A CHURCH of Scotland presbytery is facing a potential legal battle with its former congregation over ownership of a Glasgow church.

The congregation of St George’s Tron Church split from the Kirk in June over the ordination of openly gay ministers and has since been in talks over whether it can continue to worship there.

Glasgow Presbytery has now said that it wants to hold on to the church, which sits on Buchanan Street, and would not allow the seceding congregation to continue using it. The presbytery said it believed that a “vibrant congregation can rise again, integrated within the Church of Scotland and ministering to the needs of that part of the city centre”.

The presbytery will now 
request that the Kirk’s General Trustees, the Manse Trustees and Council of Assembly senior bodies concerned with management of its properties and finances, recover “all property and assets, including the church and manse buildings, and all monies belonging to the Church of Scotland congregation of St George’s Tron”.

The Kirk is already pursuing legal action to recover the congregational records, which detail the church’s finances.