THE Church of Scotland has said that it will rebuild a
congregation and provide conservative Evangelical preaching at St
George's, Tron, in Glasgow, after its former congregation and
minister left the Church in protest at the General Assembly's
policy on homosexual clergy (News, 20 June 2012, and 25 May
The Minister, the Revd Dr William Philip, and his 500-strong
congregation left the Kirk earlier this year, but retained
possession of the church building, manse, and other church
The Kirk says that, by seceding, the minister and officials
effectively resigned from the Church of Scotland charity that owned
the building. It has appointed new trustees - an interim minister,
and assessor elders - in consultation with the Office of the
Scottish Charity Regulator.
The congregation decided to leave the building last week, after
Glasgow Sheriff Court officials served interdicts on a number of
congregation officials, including a minister while he was leading a
service at the church. The congregation held their last service at
St George's on Sunday morning, and, on Sunday evening, held a
service in their new home, in Bath Street.
A Kirk investigation shows that more than a dozen congregations
are said to be considering seced- ing over the issue; and 20 per
cent of session members (church elders and ministers) say that they
consider that it would be "obligatory to leave the Church" over the
A Kirk insider says that there are "one or two congregations"
where officials have asked about leaving the Church, "but who have
accepted what the legal implications of doing so would be".
The interdicts seek the return of a number of parish items that
the Kirk says belong to its congregation, but Dr Philip said:
"These gifts were donated by individual members for their own
congre- gational life, and had already been moved as part of the
preparations for church life after moving out."
A theological commission, set up to explore the Kirk's policy on
homosexuality, is due to report to the General Assembly next