Rev David Macleod will next week be officially welcomed as the first minister of the recently formed North Harris Free Church.
The North Harris congregation, which meets in the community centre in Tarbert, unanimously called the 40-year-old last month. Rev David Macleod joined the Free Church at last October’s Commission of Assembly after leaving the Church of Scotland. He had previously been minister in Lochcarron but left the Kirk amid the ongoing dispute over the appointment of gay ministers. The same dispute had led to over 90 members of the Tarbert Church of Scotland voting to leave the church, and going on to set up the new North Harris Free Church congregation.
Rev Macleod has been providing pulpit supply for North Harris Free Church since the beginning of December. Before being called to the ministry Rev Macleod was a surveyor and spent 10 years working in Inverness. After completing his training at Aberdeen University, he was called to Lochcarron, where he ministered until September 2014.
The welcome service is being held in the community centre on Pier Road on Tuesday 10th February, beginning at 7pm. Refreshments will be served afterwards. Rev Calum Iain Macleod, Moderator of the Western Isles Presbytery, will preach at the induction, Point’s Rev Dr Iain D Campbell will address the newly inducted minister, and Stornoway assistant Rev Kenny I Macleod will give a word of encouragement to the congregation.
Earlier this month the Church of Scotland published the results of a poll which showed that the majority of presbyteries backed a proposal to allow Kirk Sessions the possibility of allowing ministers and deacons who are in a civil partnership to apply for vacant charges. However, the presbyteries in Ross, Skye and Lochcarron, Uist, Lewis, Inverness and Lochaber were all strongly opposed to the move. The final decision will be made at this year’s General Assembly in May.
See also: Kirk in crisis as ministers quit