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Gay clergy: Church of Scotland ‘traditionalists’ prepare to take the money and run

ALTHOUGH it still has to ratified, the Church of Scotland’s decision to allow congregations to ordain gay ministers, made at its May General Assembly, could cost it more than £1-million in lost revenues. This is the figure put on the loss of congregations heading in panic to more homophobic territory.

According to this report, the first wave of defections has seen six congregations quit, with half of the parishes in the Kirk’s financial heartland. The controversy could have a bigger impact on Kirk coffers as more are expected to follow over the next two years.

In 2009 the Church of Scotland voted 326-267 to support the appointment of openly gay minister Rev Scott Rennie.

In 2009 the Church of Scotland voted 326-267 to support the appointment of openly gay minister Rev Scott Rennie.

In Edinburgh, Holyrood Abbey Church worshipers give £215,000 a year, New Restalrig gives £114,000 and St Catherine’s Argyle collects £196,000. Gilcomston South in Aberdeen brings in £300,000 a year and on Lewis the Kinloch and Stornoway churches bring in £210,000 between them. In total, the Kirk brought in £60.5m in givings in 2011.

It is understood that wealthier traditionalist congregations who depart may offer less well-off parishes help if they wish to leave.

Among the latest to leave in a huff are father and son ministers Rev David Randall Snr of Logie St John’s in Dundee  and Rev David Randall of Ayrshire. Said Randall Snr:

I have always just felt it seems they are willing to pursue this liberalising pro-gay agenda regardless of the cost and it is emerging the cost is going to be very high. That is inevitable. There have been warning voices over the last three or four years that have just been ignored. It’s very sad.

He added:

It’s interesting that the church is making statements about not being in crisis … the fact they make those statements is quite revealing.

About ten congregations are understood to be in negotiations with the Kirk to leave over gay ordination.

A Church of Scotland spokeswoman said:

The loss of any minister or member would be very disappointing given it is so early in the process of decision making on this matter, with a final decision not due until 2014 at the earliest.The Church of Scotland has an annual budget of around £120m.

It is far too early to predict the precise effect of a drop in givings from the very small number of ministers and members who have given early indications of a wish to depart. We do not anticipate a serious effect on the budget and our overall finances.

Rebel Church of Scotland congregations are being wooed by the Free Church after they announced plans to quit the Kirk. The Free Church, which takes a strong traditionalist stance, is understood to have set up a working group to hold talks with congregations who are unhappy with the decision to allow gay ordination.

Logie and St John’s Cross Church in Dundee has become the fifth to confirm its intention to leave the Kirk over the ordination of gay ministers.

In a statement it said:

Following the decision of the General Assembly on May 20 (to allow the ordination of openly gay ministers in civil partnerships), we have decided with deep regret that it is no longer possible for our congregation to remain within the Church of Scotland. The issue which we cannot accept is the Church’s departure from its Scriptural foundation.

The Holyrood Abbey Church in Edinburgh, also announced its intention to leave last week.

Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, and St George’s Tron Church, Glasgow, have already left the Kirk for similar reasons.

In 2009 the Church of Scotland voted 326-267 to support the appointment of openly gay minister Rev Scott Rennie.

38 Responses to “Gay clergy: Church of Scotland ‘traditionalists’ prepare to take the money and run”

  1. Daz says:

    I have always just felt it seems they are willing to pursue this liberalising pro-gay agenda regardless of the cost and it is emerging the cost is going to be very high.

    If I may, erm, translate:

    I have always just felt [that] it seems they are willing to pursue human rights regardless of the cost and it is emerging [that] the cost is going to be very high, in terms of bigots like me leaving the church.

  2. [...] Read Gay clergy: Church of Scotland ‘traditionalists’ prepare to take the money and run [...]

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    Outrageous! Why, next they will go to the extreme of ordainment of those who have a birthmark or who wear glasses – perhaps even the disabled! Leviticus 21:17-23

  4. Canada Dave says:

    Great news actually ….the more fragmented religious institutions become the less power each possesses.

    In time perhaps each church building will be it’s very own sect.
    Then they will rant against each others versions of the various superstitions…..and we get to watch the sideshow….it is better than TV……great fun.

  5. Broga says:

    Doesn’t this just confirm all you know, or may have suspected, about the effect of religious belief on the mind? It closes down generous thoughts, erodes any tendency to imaginative sympathy and nurtures narrow, unyielding contempt for those deemed sinful in the view of those indoctrinated in superstition.

    Being gay is a tough call and in many countries potentially lethal. That the godly, with their spurious claims to high moral standards, should behave with this vengeful vindictiveness is contemptible. I don’t understand why a gay person should, or could, be a member of these churches.

  6. Stuart H. says:

    Pathetic that the only threat these flat-earthers can make is a monetary one.Tells you just where their real priorities lie.
    The only possible side-effect to this further splintering is something I see regularly when the good clergy of my town (pop. around 5,000)write a joint letter to the press to express ‘solidarity’ over some moral issue.
    It looks very impressive to see about 10 clergy & their various churches listed, unless you know that the only reason there are 10 listed in the first place is because the congregation (of about a dozen) at any one of the original three or so have split so many times over what Leviticus really says about the choice of biscuit at inter-church socials (or something equally life-threatening).
    An insider at the local (and misleadingly named) ‘churches together’ group tells me they’re, actually, so untogether that the Catholic and some ‘free church’ clergy ring beforehand to check their ‘brother in Christ’ isn’t going to the meeting before turning up. Both sworn enemies – inevitably – add their names to any joint public statement of hate as if all was sweetness and light.
    Hilarious!

  7. ken stor says:

    grew up with this bunch of loonies. made to go to kirk, had it rammed down my throat at a “non denominational” school by a mad bible thumping headmaster. there all just proving to be what i always believed them to be, a bunch of psychologically unsafe vicious non entities. they just dont get that the so called teachings of christ: love,mercy etc, are how your supposed to live your life. they think your just supposed to sing about it on sundays. to them, a church is a building.
    cant wait till it all falls on its phoney face.

  8. John B says:

    Christians who practice their religion through worship by following the Biblical scripture should be allowed to do this without criticism. How they should or should not put into practice their beliefs is no ones business but theirs. Everyone has an opinion on wether or not homosexuals should be ordained and follow the Christian religion. Only those among us who follow the christian method of worship should be allowed to decide for themselves wether to allow homosexuals to participate in their christian worship. If homosexuals wish to follow the christian tradition they they should observe all the teachings from scripture; not cherry pick which ones suit their purposes and disregard the rest. There has been 2000 years of christianity but only now the alleged free thinking liberals want to change it to suit themselves. The homosexuals are setting out to destroy christian worship or at best change it to suit their ends. When the animals went into the ark two by two one of each sex….not two by two of the same sex. If homosexuals want to follow their warped understanding of christianity then i would invite them to do so, but do it in their own congregations in their own churches, leave those of us who want to follow our christain religion in our traditional way alone in our secular world. Mr Rennie and all of those like him let me invite you to worship your God somewhere else.

  9. Angela_K says:

    “…not cherry pick which ones suit their purposes and disregard the rest”

    And you christians never pick and choose which bits of your bible to suit your bigoted agenda do you? I bet you eat shellfish and wear mixed fibre clothing though, both proscribed by your book.

  10. Stephen Mynett says:

    I am always happy to see the religionists keep proving what a ridiculous and hypocritical bunch they are, apart from being scientifically naive and downright stupid.

    A good quote from JB above: “they should observe all the teachings from scripture; not cherry pick which ones suit their purposes and disregard the rest.” Of course, this is exactly what the religionists do to pursue their own particular brand of sky fairy idolising.

    Any mention of the Ark is a good one, why not show what a jerk you are by repeating a myth as though it was historical fact, that certainly adds weight to your arguments. Of course the church should be able to disregard the equality laws the rest of us have to live by. Why should we complain that you expect a privileged place in society because you believe in tosh.

  11. barriejohn says:

    “Leave those of us who want to follow our christain religion in our traditional way alone in our secular world.”

    Sad, pathetic bastard; I actually feel sorry for him!

  12. Daz says:

    John B

    Paragraph-breaks are your friend. Remember this.

    Christians who practice their religion through worship by following the Biblical scripture should be allowed to do this without criticism.

    Bullshit. I will defend your right to believe and worship any daft crap you want to believe and worship. That’s free speech. I will also defend people’s right to criticise your beliefs. That’s also free speech.

  13. tony e says:

    John B,

    It always makes me chuckle when the ark is mentioned.

    According to your bible it was 300 by 50 by 30 cubits – or 137 by 23 by 14m (approx).

    (Giving that my maths is very poor)

    That gives an area of (lxbxh)or 44114 m.

    There is approx 1 million known species of insect from the smallest, a species of wasp at 0.139mm to one of largest moths, hercules, at 28cm. If the average size (using these two) is 14cm then 1 million x 14 cm x 2 (male and female) is 28 million cm or
    280,000m.

    Could you please advise where all the other living species of animals went as the insect took up all the area, and then some, on their own?

    If anyone could give more accurate measurements I’d be grateful.

  14. remigius says:

    tony e. So you’re suggesting that the average insect is over a foot long?

    I’m not an entomologist but…

  15. barriejohn says:

    @tony e: Noah only had to take one type of insect (ie “kind”) onto the Ark, as all the others have evolved from that pair (Christians believe in something called “micro-evolution”, but not in “macro-evolution”!). The fact that the writer of Genesis obviously didn’t mean this is immaterial.

    I wonder whether it ever occurs to Mr High-And-Mighty, Holier-Than-Thou, Clever-Clogs, I’ll-Be-A-Sunbeam-For-Jesus that if he and his like were to leave homosexuals alone to get on with their lives in their own way, then THEY might be more inclined to treat him the same?

  16. barriejohn says:

    Remigius: He says 14cm, but most would be much smaller than this, I agree.

    The following makes it all quite plain:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/caring-for-the-animals

    No need for miracles!

  17. Daz says:

    if he and his like were to leave homosexuals alone to get on with their lives in their own way, then THEY might be more inclined to treat him the same?

    Stop trying to redefine Equality. The church gets to do what it wants, and we get to allow the church to do what it wants. That’s proper, Biblical Equality, that is.

  18. remigius says:

    barriejohn. Whoops, seems I confused metric/imperial. Now I realise why women laugh at my 8 inch penis!

  19. Daz says:

    Now that’s what I call a stand-up comedian.

    I’ll get me coat…

  20. tony e says:

    remigius, barriejohn,

    That’s why I stressed my lack of mathematical knowledge, both at the beginning and end of the post.

    Yes it was lazy maths, the mast majority of insects come in at under 6cm, but what I was trying to show was that the ark could not hold all the known species of insect, nevermind mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, arachnids (x 2) etc.

  21. Broga says:

    Reading JB’s paean of deceit makes me glad to be an atheist.

  22. [...] Visit site: Gay clergy: Church of Scotland traditionalists prepare to take the money and run [...]

  23. barriejohn says:

    @tony e: They are claiming – in direct opposition to what Genesis clearly states – that Noah did NOT take two of each species into the Ark, as I said above.

    http://creation.com/how-did-all-the-animals-fit-on-noahs-ark

    God created a number of different types of animals with much capacity for variation within limits. The descendants of each of these different kinds, apart from humans, would today mostly be represented by a larger grouping than what is called a species. In most cases, those species descended from a particular original kind would be grouped today within what modern taxonomists (biologists who classify living things) call a genus (plural genera).

    One common definition of a species is a group of organisms which can interbreed and produce fertile offspring, and cannot mate with other species. However, most of the so-called species (obviously all the extinct ones) have not been tested to see what they can or cannot mate with. In fact, not only are there known crosses between so-called species, but there are many instances of trans-generic mating, so the ‘kind’ may in some cases be as high as the family. Identifying the ‘kind’ with the genus is also consistent with Scripture, which spoke of kinds in a way that the Israelites could easily recognize without the need for tests of reproductive isolation.

    For example, horses, zebras and donkeys are probably descended from an equine (horse-like) kind, since they can interbreed, although the offspring are sterile. Dogs, wolves, coyotes and jackals are probably from a canine (dog-like) kind. All different types of domestic cattle (which are clean animals) are descended from the Aurochs, so there were probably at most seven (or fourteen) domestic cattle aboard. The Aurochs itself may have been descended from a cattle kind including bisons and water buffaloes. We know that tigers and lions can produce hybrids called tigons and ligers, so it is likely that they are descended from the same original kind.

    “He’s making it up as he goes along!”

  24. Angela_K says:

    Clever geezer that Noah, he even managed to get to the Antarctic to pick up a Penguin, stop off in Australia to pick up a Kangaroo and India to pick up a Tiger!

  25. Stephen Mynett says:

    This has probably been posted before but it is still worth a look, comparing the Titanic to Noah’s ark: http://www.eatliver.com/i.php?n=8427

  26. remigius says:

    Angela_K. Er, actually marsupial fossils have been found in the Middle East!

    http://secretvisitors.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/kangaroos-in-egypt/

  27. Rev Jim Stewart says:

    Statement from the gathering of
    Church of Scotland Evangelicals
    Perth Letham St Marks
    14 June 2013

    Press Release

    Many evangelicals within the Church of Scotland are deeply concerned about the current crisis over the ordination and induction of those in same-sex civil partnerships. Some have left the Kirk and others are considering doing so.

    Today in Perth there was a large gathering of 350 evangelicals from the Church of Scotland (ministers, elders and members). The result of this was the formation of a network of evangelicals who have made the clear decision to remain in the Church of Scotland and to work for its reformation and renewal. We believe that the Church of Scotland remains an important vehicle for reaching the whole population of Scotland with the Gospel and, despite recent decisions, believe that God is still at work among us. We also believe that we can remain with integrity.

    We urge others to join with us and to remain in the Church of Scotland, as we seek to restore and rebuild our Church.

    Our vision for this network of evangelicals within the Kirk will be developed over the next few months.

    On behalf of the Church of Scotland Evangelical Network

  28. Daz says:

    Many fervent believers in the Invisible Man In The Sky within the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation of Scotland are deeply concerned about being asked to treat gay people like human beings. Some have left the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation of Scotland and others are considering doing so.

    Today in Perth there was a large gathering of 350 bigots from the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation of Scotland (High Bigots, Middle Bigots and Low Bigots). The result of this was the formation of a cabal of bigots who have made the clear decision to remain in the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation of Scotland and to make it as bigoted as it was before. We believe that the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation of Scotland remains an important vehicle for spreading the word of bigotry to the whole population of Scotland and, despite recent decisions, believe that Invisible Man In The Sky is still at work among us. We also believe that we can remain with what little integrity we already had.

    We urge others to join with us and to remain in the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation of Scotland, as we seek to restore and rebuild our Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation.

    Our vision for this network of bigots within the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation will be developed over the next few months.

    On behalf of the Official Invisible-Man-In-The-Sky-Worshipping Organisation of Scotland Circle-Jerk of Bigots

  29. bettydavis says:

    Is there a long queue of gay people wishing to be ordained? if so I can’t understand why they would want to be any part of an organisation that treats them as sub human

  30. Broga says:

    They believe that “God is at work amongst us.” I wonder how they arrive at that belief. And what do they mean by “God”? As their citadel of bigoted superstition crumbles around them they are whistling in the dark. They cling together in their anxiety as they see the forces of reason, compassion and decency (alien to them) continue to encroach on what they previously regarded as their territory.

  31. barriejohn says:

    More mad vicars than you can wave a crozier at (including Bishop Daz!).

  32. Daz says:

    You may wave my crozier, but you must not bash my bishopric. Ahem.

  33. JohnMWhite says:

    Jimmy Stewart? Didn’t he bankrupt that local savings and loan?

    @Trevor Blake: You bring up an interesting point – I’ve never actually seen a disabled clergyman. I’ve seen plenty that were too old to walk more than a few steps unassisted, but I’ve never seen anybody doing the day to day job of a cleric (or working for a diocese or working for the Scottish Catholic Education Service or other such institution) while disabled beyond the need for spectacles. Maybe it’s just chance, and perhaps I missed unseen disabilities like epilepsy or heart conditions, but I have been around a lot of these people and never come across anybody with a serious physical impairment anywhere near a position in the church. I cannot help but be reminded of my own Catholic schooling, where injured or disabled students were simply told “if you can’t make it up the stairs to the physics department, just don’t do physics”.

    Christians who practice their religion through worship by following the Biblical scripture should be allowed to do this without criticism.

    Ok, John B – why? Why should Christians be immune from criticism, and as an aside, why should homosexuals not be? You criticised them pretty severely yourself. Why can’t they be allowed to live their lifestyle without criticism?

    There has been 2000 years of christianity but only now the alleged free thinking liberals want to change it to suit themselves.

    Well, that’s just not true. Free thinking liberals have been trying to change things all along, they just were usually murdered until now. Murdered. That point bears repeating: until very recently in history, you would not be moaning on a blog, you would be in a crowd baying for the blood of people who dared to disagree with you. You would be smelling their burning flesh and their screams would fill your ears. Does that not tell you something about why free thinking liberals keep trying to change Christianity and ostensibly Christian countries?

  34. Matt+Westwood says:

    “There has been 2000 years of christianity …” Well that shows you up to be ignorant of your own stupid hobby – Christianity has been a religion for 16 centuries.

  35. JohnMWhite says:

    Actually there were Christians in the first century CE, albeit in a very prototypical form.

  36. [...] ALTHOUGH it still has to ratified, the Church of Scotland's decision to allow congregations to ordain gay ministers, made at its May General Assembly, could cost it more than £1-million…  [...]