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Kirk gay row: the ugly face of liberal bigotry

By Julian Mann, courtesy of Cranmer

The persecution by the Church of Scotland of St George's Tron, a thriving evangelical church in Glasgow city centre, reveals the ugly face of liberal bigotry. This ogre will haunt the Church of England if its militant liberal wing wins the argument over gay marriage.

St George's, now called The Tron Church, has left the Church of Scotland because of the decision by its General Assembly to accept practising homosexual ministers. The congregation has moved out of its building on which it has spent a lot of money recently refurbishing but, not content with that, the Church of Scotland has resorted to legal action over disputed assets.

Shortly before the congregation left its building, the Kirk called in Sheriff's officers over some items of movable property. The 'sheriffs' entered the building to 'serve papers' during the church family's mid-week prayer meeting. The Kirk is now complaining to the Scottish charity regulator over the transfer of financial assets to a charitable trust set up by St George's before the congregation left.

One of the ironies here is that the senior pastor of Tron, the Revd Dr William Philip, is one of the most gracious, kindly, humble Christians Cranmer's Curate has ever met. He undoubtedly shares many theological convictions in common with the magisterial Scottish Reformer John Knox, but temperamentally the two men are about as different as Brian Clough and Peter Taylor.

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