May 28, 2009

Kirk seeks to heal rift over gay minister

by David Masters

The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly yesterday elected the Reverend William Hewitt as its new moderator amid rows over the Kirk’s appointment of a gay minister.

Rev Hewitt, 57, will tomorrow oversee discussions about the Kirk’s appointment of the Reverend Scott Rennie in Aberdeen.

An online petition has been set up to oppose the Kirk’s choice of Mr Rennie for the Aberdeen post, and the petition’s organisers claim they have gathered the signatures of more than 400 ministers.

Mr Rennie, 37, a divorced father of one, has been appointed as minister of Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen, and plans to live in the manse with his partner if the General Assembly approves the appointment.

He claims that prior to his appointment he was open about his sexuality with his prospective congregation.

However, one member of Queen’s Cross Church has already resigned, claiming that the information was ‘buried’ in a CV amongst a sheaf of papers handed out to the congregation.

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