AS a senior minister of an evangelical congregation based in the west end of Glasgow I have been following the situation at St George's Tron, with a growing sense of unease ("Minister told to quit manse", The Herald, October 15, and Letters, October 15, 16, 17 & 18).

If the Presbytery of Glasgow and the Church of Scotland headquarters at 121 George Street, Edinburgh, have their way, a powerful witness to the love of Jesus Christ will be lost in the heart of our city. A thriving church and a gifted minister will be evicted from the property they and their forebears built up. That one group of Christians would even consider doing this to another is unbelievable.

All concerned should take a look at 1 Corinthians 6, where lawsuits between believers is ruled out. But perhaps this situation reveals how far the Kirk is distancing itself from its biblical roots.

I do not believe any conservative evangelical would have the effrontery to head up the remnant or transplant that the presbytery envisages. More likely, a tiny congregation will stumble along for a few years before the building becomes a nightclub. A better solution would be to make a financial arrangement with the people of the Tron (for they are the church), so that monies owed are repaid and witness is maintained.

Christian people are called to offer grace, and grace is something that is not deserved. Whatever the rights and wrongs of how things have been done, surely it would be better to extend some grace, attempt some mediation and allow the Gospel of Jesus to flourish in our city? Or is this a warning shot across the bows of other congregations that might take similar action after the General Assembly 2013?

The people of the Tron have many friends around the world. They, and I, will be praying for gracious restraint and a peaceful outcome to this mess.

David McCarthy,

Rector of St Silas Episcopal Church,

69 Park Road,


SOME think the Presbytery of Glasgow should be generous with the independent congregation of St George's Tron and let them use the building which belongs to the Church of Scotland.

But there is another issue which is often ignored. Thousands of loyal members of the Kirk have given money to support the work of the church in every part of the country and beyond. Nearly £1 million of this money has been lent to St George's Tron when it was part of the national church, and so far it has not been repaid. How do the generous and faithful donors feel about this? Is this where they intended their offering to end up?

I certainly do not want my small share of these loans to be written off. I want it to be used to support churches up and down Scotland that need a loan to repair their roof or develop Christian outreach in their area. So long as the breakaway church does not repay its debts and keeps a building which belongs to someone else, many other congregations are suffering.

I suspect a good many members of St George's Tron independent church do not understand this and will feel very uncomfortable when, or if, the full facts are set before them.

The Presbytery of Glasgow has the difficult task of trying to be generous to everyone.

Ainslie Walton (retired minister),

501 Shields Road,