Scottish Episcopal Church elects Mark Strange as new primus

The Right Reverend Mark Strange has been named as primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Bishop Mark Strange has been elected the new Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Picture: Contributed
Bishop Mark Strange has been elected the new Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Picture: Contributed

Bishop Strange, who has been bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness since 2007, and was elected to succeed the Most Reverend David Chillingworth.

The 56-year-old father-of-three said he was ‘humbled by the confidence’ shown in him by his colleagues, adding:” I will seek to serve the church as Primus with love and strength.

“I am deeply privileged to be Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and am very aware that it has been 82 years since a Bishop of Moray became Primus. I pray that I may be worthy of this trust.”

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Bishop Strange, who is married to Jane, a teacher in Inverness, and has a son and two daughters, has taken on the role just days after the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted in favour of same-sex marriage, making it the first major Christian church in the UK to back same-sex marriage.

Bishop Strange added: “I will continue to serve in my beloved Highlands while I also step out into new and exciting journeys of faith in both Scotland and the wider international church.”

The bishop hit the headlines in June 2015, when he called for ministers to be given the right to marry gay couples - and revealed that, as a teenager, he had been in love with a man.

He said at the time: “None of us fall in love by design, we just fall in love. In my teenage years I fell in love with two people – one was a woman and one was a man.

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“I was unable to shape that emotion, however complicated it might be, and on both occasions that love was not returned.

“But I am always aware that things might have been different and that I would have been devastated if the church I belonged to had cast me aside because of who I happened to be in love with.”