A church in Glasgow has become the first kirk to split from the Church of Scotland over its decision to appoint openly gay members of the clergy.

Last year, the Kirk’s General Assembly had decided to accept gay clergy if they had declared their sexuality and were ordained before 2009.

St. George’s Tron Church said today that after twelve months of thought and prayer, its 500-strong congregation had to separate from the Church of Scotland over its decision, which it said had ‘marginalised the bible.’

Rev Dr William Philip, minister at the church, told the BBC: “Last year, despite having had the clear opportunity, the General Assembly failed to reverse the stance taken in 2009 approving the appointment of ordained ministers in same-sex relationships. Instead, it clearly and deliberately chose to set an opposite trajectory towards normalising such relationships.”

He added that acceptance of gay clergy was ‘to walk away from the biblical gospel, and to walk apart (sic) from the faith of the worldwide Christian Church,’ saying: “We are saddened that the Church of Scotland has departed so dramatically and decisively from its moorings in the historic, reformed and biblical faith.”

A spokesperson for the Church of Scotland said that they were ‘saddened’ by the decision, and that discussions will take place with Tron over the following weeks to ‘clarify the situation,’ adding: “No decisions have been taken about the on-going use of the building, or the outstanding financial obligations to the Church of Scotland and the General Trustees.”