Kirkcaldy Presbytery ‘no’ to gay ministers

The Church of Scotland General Assembly
The Church of Scotland General Assembly

Church ministers and elders in Kirkcaldy and the surrounding area have voted against the ordination of gay ministers.

But they say their decision was largely based on the “clumsy” legislation and how difficult it would be to implement, rather than on theological reasons.

Results of a national vote of Church of Scotland presbyteries showed more than two thirds – 32 from a total of 45 – were in favour of the move to allow Kirk Sessions the possibility of allowing ministers and deacons who are in a civil partnership to apply for vacant charges.

In Fife, both Dunfermline and St Andrews Presbyteries voted in favour of the move, but Kirkcaldy went against the tide.

It voted 32-24 against ordaining gay ministers.

Kirkcaldy Presbytery has 74 members – half ministers, half elders – representing 22 charges.

It covers the central Fife area, including Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, plus smaller towns and villages from Burntisland to Cardenden, Leven and Kennoway.

Rosemary Frew, minister of Abbotshall Church in Kirkcaldy and clerk for Kirkcaldy Presbytery, said: “There were many good and considered contributions to the debate.

‘‘Most contributors focused on the proposed legislation itself and how clumsy and difficult to implement it appeared.

‘‘The comment that we appended when we submitted our voting figures reflected this concern.’’

In its submission, Kirkcaldy Presbytery stated: “The Presbytery wish it noted that the majority of contributions to the debate were not ‘theological’ but focused on the perceived inadequacies/ unhelpfulness of the legislation.”

The final decision will be made at the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly in May.

Overwhelming support

With 32 of the 45 presbyteries in the Church of Scotland voting in favour of the proposal to allow the ordination of gay ministers, it looks certain to be given the go-ahead by the General Assembly in May.

In total, 1391 members voted for, with 1153 against.

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stirling presbyteries all supported the proposals, while Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Inverness were among those that voted against.