A minister of the Church of Scotland, Reverend Andrew Coghill, has stepped down from his position as minister in the Church of Scotland at Leurbost Church, Lochs, Lewis, after the General Assembly of the church voted after an almost seven hour debate in favor of gay ordination.The vote will allow gay ministers to administer parishes in Church of Scotland.
An uproar had followed the ordination of the first gay clergyman, Scott Rennie, in 2009, forcing a moratorium on further ordinations. The last vote has, however, effectively lifted the ban.
Reverend Andrew Coghill who ministered at Leurbost Church for almost twenty years had expressed his firm opposition to all deliberations on gay ordination in the Church of Scotland. He told his congregation after the decision was made that he was stepping down from his position and leaving the Church of Scotland in "utmost sorrow and heartfelt grief." According to the Church minister, "The cross is not simply to be preached, it is to be lived."
According to the Christian Post, Reverend Coghill is not the first minister in the Church to announce his intention to leave the church. Earlier last week, The Reverend Roddy MacRae, minister of Glenlg and Kintail, also announced his intention to leave the Church of Scotland after announcement of the vote. It is feared that the Church of Scotland will experience a significant loss of its members many of whom hold conservative views on the ordination of gay priests in the church.