THE community of Newburgh has been left reeling after intense national media interest in the private life of its minister, Rev. Lynn Brady.
It is understood that Miss Brady, who has been minister of Newburgh Parish Church linked with Abdie and Dunbog since 2002, had made it known to her congregation she intended to become engaged to her long term female partner.
This has been met with a mixed reaction in the town with many people showing their support for someone they regard as an “excellent” and “conscientious” minister, while others have questioned her decision to make her lesbian relationship public.
The controversy has resulted in one kirk elder allegedly refusing to return to the church until Miss Brady steps down.
Known throughout north east Fife for her outstanding charity work, Miss Brady’s fund-raising efforts have included raising £4500 for Marie Curie Cancer Care in 2008 by taking part in a sponsored 400-mile ‘Bike the Baltic’ cycle from Warsaw, birthplace of Marie Curie, to Vilnius in Lithuania.
The money she raised helped provide free nursing services to local people wishing to remain at home during their final days.
Miss Brady is also an active member of the local community, serving as a co-opted member of Newburgh Primary School’s parent council, and has close links with Dunbog Primary School.
She is also chaplain of Cupar’s Adamson Hospital where she frequently works with cancer patients and their families.
It is understood the 47-year-old former moderator of St Andrews Presbytery, told people of her plans to enter into a civil partnership around a month ago.
Reports that the situation had prompted an emergency church meeting in Newburgh this week were quashed by a church member, who also confirmed that Miss Brady had taken advice from Church of Scotland lawyers not to talk to the press.
The moderator of St Andrews Presbytery, the Rev. John Murdoch, declined to comment, stating the Church of Scotland was dealing with all enquiries on the matter.
A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “We are not prepared to comment on private matters nor individual cases.
“May’s General Assembly agreed that ministers and deacons in same-sex relationships who were ordained before May 31, 2009 can be inducted to pastoral charges.
“The Church of Scotland has set up a Theological Commission to examine whether persons in a civil partnership are eligible for admission for training, ordination and induction as ministers of Word and Sacrament or deacons, among other issues, and a further report will be presented to the 2013 General Assembly.”