THE Church of Scotland has lost a further two ministers in an ongoing row over gay clergy.
Wester Ross preachers 40-year-old Rev David Macleod from Lochcarron and 44-year-old Rev Roddy MacRae from Glenelg and Kintail have both announced their resignations.
They have now applied to join the Free Church of Scotland.
If accepted, Rev Macleod and Rev MacRae will bring the total number of former Church of Scotland ministers who have joined the Free Church to ten.
Both departing ministers expressed grave concern over the Church of Scotland’s continuing drift from the Bible.
Their respective resignations mean that the Church of Scotland has only one active full-time parish minister covering Assynt, Wester Ross, Skye, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Harris – an area which is bigger than the size of Wales.
Rev Macleod said: “Over the past few years I have found myself to be theologically less and less aligned with the Church of Scotland.
“I find myself now to have more in common with other denominations. The decision to demit has not been a decision I have rushed or taken lightly.
“I say this with a heavy heart and with much grief but I do not believe that I can continue in the context in which I find myself.”
Phil Picking, elder at Applecross, Lochcarron and Torridon Church of Scotland, said on behalf of the Kirk Session: “We are very sad it has come to this, but David feels he cannot carry on in the Church of Scotland in good conscience and with integrity.
“We are sure this sadness will be shared amongst many in the local community.”
Rev MacRae said: “The Church of Scotland often says it is a ‘broad church’, but it has become clear to me that it is not broad enough for Bible-believing Christians.
“I have been wrestling with this in prayer for quite some time now, and although I have a heavy heart, it makes sense to join a denomination with like-minded people where I can be fully supported.”
Mr MacRae’s Kirk Session in Glenelg and Kintail said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the demission of Rev Roddy MacRae.
“Our thoughts, prayers and very best wishes go with him and his family and may God bless them richly wherever He leads them to serve in the future.”
A Free Church of Scotland spokesman said: “Although we are saddened by the present circumstances in the Church of Scotland, we are happy to provide a home to those who wish to leave.
“We hope that any newcomers to the Free Church will find their new surroundings refreshing and trust they will share our dynamic, vibrant and contemporary mission.
“Over the last five years we have seen a rise in the number of people attending our services, with a particular growth in the number of under 30s. Who says Scotland isn’t interested in Biblical Christianity?”
The Free Church claimed further announcements are expected in October.