A NEW minister has been appointed at a historic church after the previous minister and his congregation quit in protest at gay ordination.

Rev Alastair Duncan has been inducted at the St George's Tron Church in Glasgow after the previous minister, Rev Dr William Philip and his flock became the first full congregation to leave the Church of Scotland over homosexual ministers.

The new minister said he was looking forward to his role "being part of what God is going to do in a new chapter" at the church.

The acrimonious split led to the threat of legal action by the church and it is understood there is still an ongoing tussle over funds.

Mr Philip and about 500 traditionalist worshippers now hold services at a new base in Bath Street.

They believe the Church is on a trajectory towards accepting gay ministers. The Kirk is to make its most critical decision on gay clergy to date at its annual gathering, the General Assembly, in Edinburgh in May.

The old Tron Church quit over the appointment of openly gay minister Scott Rennie, which sparked the Church's public struggle on the issue.

Mr Duncan, the new minister, who was previously at Garelochhead Church in Dumbarton Presbytery for nearly 24 years, said: "I am looking forward to being a part of what God is going to do in a new chapter in the life of a church with such a distinguished history."