The openly gay minister of a Scottish church has seen his congregation grow since joining the church.

Rev Scott Rennie, the first out gay minister to be appointed by the Church of Scotland, has had a five-per cent rise in the number of worshippers at Queen’s Cross Church in the last 12 months.

The figure was revealed yesterday at the church’s General Assembly in Edinburgh, the Herald reports.

Rev Rennie was appointed last year, leading to divisions in the church. His appointment led to a two-year moratorium on new gay ministers.

Professor Trevor Salmon, joint session clerk of Queen’s Cross Church, praised him yesterday and said he had instilled a “new sense of commitment, enthusiasm, strategy and energy” into the congregation.

He said: “The congregation has absolutely taken to Scott Rennie and those who know him get on enormously well with him.”

However, the General Assembly confirmed that a presbytery had been wrong to appoint another gay man as a trainee minister in Lanarkshire.

Dmitri Ross, who is in a civil partnership, withdrew from training in September saying he did not want to be a “source of division” in the Kirk.

The presbytery had believed Mr Ross did not come under the moratorium as he was being selected for training rather than a job.