St Thomas, one of the largest churches in Edinburgh, has voted to quit the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) over its decision to be the UK’s first Anglican body to endorse same-sex marriage.
Rev. David McCarthy, rector at St Thomas, said the decision had been a ‘very painful’ one. ‘We have not done it easily. We have had many tears and many sleepless nights. It is a tragic necessity’, he told the Sunday Telegraph. ‘But it is the Episcopal Church who are leaving us. They are leaving orthodoxy’.
The decision among St Thomas evangelical congregation saw around one-fifth leave since a vote confirmed the decision in May. Other churches have either left or are considering leaving in the wake of the decision to change the SEC’s definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The SEC, which has over 350 churches across Scotland and is a member of the Anglican Communion, voted last June to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.