Evangelical defections for Church of Scotland

Two evangelical congregations have quit the Church of Scotland this week in protest to last year’s vote by the General Assembly permitting the ordination of gay clergy. The departure of St Catherine’s Argyle and New Restalrig, both in Edinburgh, will cost the Presbytery of Edinburgh over £315,000 in lost contributions. The minister of New Restalrig along with the majority of his 2000 member congregation have joined the Free Church of Scotland while the 700 member St Catherine’s and its clergy are currently in talks negotiating their withdrawal. The minister of St Catherine’s Argyle, the Rev. Robin Sydserff told The Herald “both our internal consultation over the past year and the Presbytery’s formal consultation have indicated that our decision has the backing of the vast majority of the active congregation.” The minister of New Restalrig, the Rev. David Court added “There is of course a real materialistic challenge leaving the Church of Scotland with the stipend and the manse, but I don’t regret my decision for a moment. … I am free to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is a wonderful experience to be supported both by my congregation and my colleagues in the Free Church.”

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