An openly gay minister has been appointed to a Church of Scotland congregation amid reports that an appeal to block the move is imminent.
Rev Scott Rennie was installed at Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen after the city’s presbytery voted 60-24 in his favour.
After 10 years of service, Rev Rennie will be leaving his current role as minister at Brechin Cathedral in Angus.
He separated from his wife and then moved another man into the manse, where they both currently reside.
Sources within the kirk (or ‘church’) have told Scottish newspaper The Press and Journal:
“It is highly likely that critics will lodge an appeal to block the move within the next 10 days.”
Despite this opposition, Queen’s Cross Church is renowned for its liberal-minded attitude, and its current Reverend has been involved in a number of LGBT issues over the years.
The former minister, Rev Bob Brown, was a guest at the 2006 civil partnership of Monica Stewart and Paula McDonald, and in the same year he opposed Forward Together, an evangelical organisation that wants to ban gay ministers and deacons from leading ceremonies.
The joint session clerk at Queen’s Cross, Professor Trevor Salmon commented on Rev Rennie’s ‘excellent qualities’ and said:
“This appointment was given a resounding endorsement by the kirk session and congregation.”
The Church of Scotland General Assembly is currently divided over civil partnerships and will make its final decision in May.