Scottish congregation evicted and sued by Church of Scotland

A story of evil-doing by the Church of Scotland officials came to my attention this week.  It has been kept quiet by the establishment, who are really responsible.  The Scottish Herald reports:

LEADERS of the Church of Scotland have been accused of heavy-handed tactics after law officers disrupted a prayer meeting to demand the return of bibles, hymn books and an organ.

The serving of a writ was the latest move in an increasingly bitter wrangle between Kirk leaders and the congregation of one of Scotland’s best-known churches, St George’s Tron in Glasgow.

The congregation has been threatened with eviction from the premises after it split from the Kirk in opposition to the ordination of gay ministers.

As the Kirk intensified its efforts to reclaim property, more than 100 church members were left stunned when Messengers-at-Arms arrived to serve legal papers demanding the return of a number of key items.

The church minister, Rev Dr William Philip, described the arrival of the law officers as frightening and humiliating. He said: “To disrupt a prayer meeting in that way and demand the organ and other key items that were gifted to the congregation, just weeks before Christmas, truly beggars belief.

“Not content to evict us, it seems they are determined to publicly humiliate our leaders and frighten our members, some of whom are vulnerable people.

“It is shameful. Having law officers disrupt a church meeting and intimidate a church is something we associate with China or former Soviet dictatorships but is the last thing we expected from the so-called national Church.

“We have sought to avoid going to the courts at every opportunity which is why we took the decision to vacate the building rather than fight for it, trusting God as we enter this new phase of ministry to which he has called us. But to do this we need resources like our hymn books, organ and bibles, so we have been left with no other option but to contest this petty and ridiculous action.”

The incident comes after The Herald revealed the congregation and minister clashed with the Church of Scotland over ownership of church buildings when it quit the main body of the Kirk over its stance on allowing gay ministers.

Mr Philip added: “My family is now living in fear that the manse will be stormed in the same way to force us out of our home on to the street before Christmas. It is horrible.”

My first reaction was to wonder what all this was about.  The Christian Institute has more details.  Apparently the Church of Scotland, at the bidding of the non-Christian world, intends to ordain gays as ministers, albeit with much hand-wringing and delays.  We all know that unnatural vice is one of many evils prohibited in scripture, and this is probably why the world demands that the church submit and endorse it.  This is what persecution looks like, after all – some minor issue is used as an excuse to persecute for non-conformance. 

St. George’s Tron is a large church in that denomination.  Rightly supposing that the processes can have only one end, they have rightly decided that they cannot in conscience remain part of that organisation. 

The response has been vicious.  The Church of Scotland officials have, as I understand it:

  • demanded that the congregation either surrender or vacate the building (which they recently spent 2.5 million pounds — around $4m dollars — to put in order);
  • demanded that the congregation also pay them 1 million pounds (around $1.5m) to repay a loan, made by the denomination to its congregation to refurbish a building which the denomination claims to own;
  • demanded that the congregation also hand over the minister’s house, or manse, which the congregation purchased for its minister, thereby rendering him and his family homeless;
  • demanded that the congregation also hand over its bibles, hymn books, etc.

All this seems to be pure spite, of course, and to intimidate the many congregations that might do the same.  The Church of Scotland has many empty buildings, so it has no need for the St Georges Tron building.  It proposes to install a “new congregation”; but of course this is just a fake group, with an eye to probable court cases, for if the Church of Scotland could create viable congregations by fiat, it wouldn’t have buildings standing empty.  Likewise it is pretty cheeky to demand that a bunch of people kicked out pay for a building that they don’t own; this demand is designed to load the congregation with a debt, hopefully causing it to disband.

St George’s Tron chose to leave their building rather than litigate.  The Church of Scotland apparently is determined to force them into the courts, by means of the demand for money.

What I would like to know, however, is the effect on giving in the Church of Scotland.  For who on earth would donate a penny to it, if so doing can be repaid so vilely?  Why refurbish your parish church?  It isn’t yours, and may be taken from you at a moment’s notice.  Why pay for clergy housing?  Why buy hymn books?  And so on.

I thought that the days of this kind of religious viciousness were over.  It is sad to see them return.


10 thoughts on “Scottish congregation evicted and sued by Church of Scotland

  1. In prostituting themselves to the pressures of the general public, the church of Scotland (small ‘c’ now deliberate) has already given itself over to the dark side. Its subsequent behaviour therefore comes as no surprise. It has lost its saltiness; we know what happens to ‘unsalty’ salt and ‘lukewarm’ churches.

  2. I’m afraid that you are right. Those whose beliefs are actually determined by non-Christian values will behave in a non-Christian way. Of course few non-Christians would behave so badly; but perhaps we should remember that our Lord was crucified by the *priests*, to the bemusement of the Roman authorities. It is doubtful that even those to whom the CoS is bowing the knee would behave like this. But of course they must prove their loyalty, I suppose…

  3. It’s terribly reminiscent of the events in Bishop Burnet’s “History of my own times”, in the 1660’s. The worthless Scottish Bishops of that period, hated by the ordinary Scot, owed their position to intrigue back at the court of King Charles II in London. Being far away from the seat of power, whenever they came North they behaved appallingly, oppressing everyone to a degree unheard of in England, just to show how loyal they were to the cynical king (who didn’t care either way). Little people do that. The malice of the petty official who finds that he is in a position to do something nasty is never pleasant to watch.

    The reports above do indicate this littleness. The guilty men won’t even take responsibility for their actions, but blame it (falsely) on the requirements of the Charities body. Little men hate to be held responsible, because they know they are personally nothing.

    Poor souls. They too were created by God, and His Son died for them. We should pray for them, not that they desist — that is in the hands of God — but that they do not receive the reward of their sin, but find salvation.

    What all this DOES indicate is that St Georges Tron were absolutely right to suppose that the body they were affliated with was unchristian. Who of us, after all, would want to be part of such a body?

  4. With gays as only 1% of society, it can’t be hardly anyone really wants gay clergy. Another case of people in positions of power being so stupid they believe everything the news media tells them.

  5. Gays are far less than 1%, I’m sure. But this is about the influence of a handful of them — probably someone like Ben Summerskill, related to a former labour minister — on the whole rotten system of government.

  6. Well, Anthony who led the comments with his, is absolutely right of course. There is no Christian kindness or charity being shown there . “By their fruits ye shall know them” . That verse is so true. The ungodly always reveal themselves, even through the false smiles that are sometimes presented to the media, often for years. The spiteful bullying of this faithful, Scripture and Tradition respecting congregation proves that, in leaving, they are doing absolutely the right things for the future of the faith and for their own personal witness of Christ’s truth to the world. We are seeing the return of persecution as the faithful in all the denominations stand up for The Gospel and His Kingdom. As a orthodox, conservative Anglican , south of the border, my prayers go with this brave congregation. Ultimately victory in all things belongs to God.

  7. Agreed. Although the behaviour has been so shockingly bad, and so abrupt, that it has taken even ordinary Scots aback. Who on earth — other than a handful of greedy church officials — wants to see the wars of religion return?

    I seem to recall, a handful of years ago, church officials “apologising” to each other over the splits that occurred in the 18th century (when none of them were born). Even at the time I thought this was guff, and that the officials concerned would persecute at a drop of a hat if they thought they could and wanted to. So it has proven.

    What is the matter with these people? Can’t they manage “do as you would be done by”? After all, in any church split, it is generally a very good idea not to make a fuss, allow the congregation to leave, taking whatever they feel is theirs, including a building if necessary, keep it sweet, ensure that as few lines are drawn in the sand as possible, keep the hurt and anger involved to zero if at all possible — and if it takes a bit of generosity, so be it. Because often these things are people-driven; and when the people die or move on, then the process can reverse just as easily. But if you leave people with a sense of injustice, if you plague them with demands and sour looks and suspicion and accusations, they will never return; and that church will stand there for centuries, as a reproach to those who made it happen. It’s simple, ordinary, worldly common sense.

    But clearly the devil drives them too hard for that. This sort of thing happens when the church officials are unworthy of their posts, and know it; just as the bishops appointed by Charles II to the Church of Scotland knew it, back in the 1660’s.

  8. All for the sake of gayism? The Church is free in Africa, you may just keep your fate to yourselves leaving them alone. To the evicted members, stand firm as it is evidently obvious that Satan has now taken over the stage.

Leave a Reply