Two more Church of Scotland congregations are considering a split over the issue of gay ordinations.

Stornoway High Church and Hilton High Church may leave the main church after the General Assembly backed a move towards gay ministers, the Herald reports.

Earlier this week, St Kane’s Church at New Deer, Aberdeenshire, said it was “griev[ing] over the apparent departure of the Church of Scotland from these scripture truths”.

Last week, Gilcomston South Church in Aberdeen said it would soon vote on whether to stay in the church.

A special Church of Scotland panel is to look at the issue of gay and lesbian clergy and will report back in 2013.

The church has not yet made a decision on whether celibate gay clergy or those in relationships could be ordained.

Research has found that one in five church members have said they will leave if out gay ministers are permitted.

However, one in ten said they will leave if the ban continues.

Divisions in the church began in 2009, when the ordination of gay man Scott Rennie caused deep tensions between traditionalists and liberals.