TWO former Anglican ministers are to be ordained as priests after joining the Catholic Church when Scottish Anglicans voted to embrace gay marriage.

The Rev Simon Beveridge, who lives in Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway and Rev Cameron Macdonald, who lives in Nairn, were made deacons in June just days after the Scottish Episcopal Church voted overwhelmingly to allow same sex couples to marry in church.

They joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, set up in 2011 by Pope Benedict to provide a home for disaffected former members of the Episcopalian and Anglican clergy within the Catholic Church.

Rev Beveridge, was ordained a priest in Whithorn by Bishop William Nolan yesterday, while Rev Macdonald will be ordained priest on Saturday by Archbishop Leo Cushley in St Columba’s, Edinburgh. He will assist Father Len Black, the senior Ordinariate priest in Scotland, in serving what the Catholic Church claimed is a growing number of Ordinariate people in Scotland. Meanwhile Rev Beveridge will be charged with building an Ordinariate presence in Galloway, one of five ordinariate communities in Scotland, while assisting in local parishes Kirkcudbright, Dalbeattie, Whithorn, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, with Gatehouse of Fleet and Castle Douglas.

Rev Beveridge served as a vicar in the church of England for six years before becoming a Royal Navy Chaplain in 1993 serving with the Commando Royal Marines and latterly as Regional Navy Chaplain, based at Faslane on the Clyde.

However his secret passion is horse racing. He said “I trained as an amateur jockey at the British Racing School at Newmarket attending the Amateur National Hunt Course, with race horse trainer, Jimmy Frost, enjoying my first full season racing Point to Point 2006-7 and achieved a winner at Wadebridge in Cornwall.

“That season culminated in me representing the Royal Navy in The Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown Park where I met a spectacular end by being run out into the rails by two loose horses when leading nine lengths clear of the rest of field

"I have firm intentions to provide a home for a couple of retired race horses once our new home, the Mill, is completed and the paddocks are ready.”

The head of the Ordinariate in the UK is Monsignor Keith Newton, a former Church of England Bishop, who is married and therefore cannot be a bishop in the Catholic Church.

While he has broadly the same authority as a bishop, he is not able to ordain men to the priesthood and invites other bishops to do so on his behalf.

Monsignor Newton said, “I am delighted by the welcome the Ordinariate has been shown by Bishop Nolan and Archbishop Cushley. Their willingness to ordain these men on my behalf to serve the Catholic Church in the Ordinariate as well as their understanding of our unique situation and their words of encouragement have been much appreciated and I look forward to being with them for these ordinations.”

Fr Black said, “This is an exciting time for the Ordinariate in Scotland and having these two new priests working with me will allow us to provide more opportunities for people to experience our unique liturgical traditions."