Statement on congregation departure in Tarbert

The Church of Scotland has issued a statement in response to the departure of some of the congregation at Tarbert Church in Harris.

Acting Principal Clerk of the Church of Scotland, Rev Dr George Whyte, said: "We are saddened by the planned departure of 94 members and adherents from Tarbert Church; they will be missed and we wish them well for the future.

"However, our duty now is to the 131 members and adherents who are choosing to remain with the Church of Scotland.

"The Presbytery of Uist will ensure that worship will continue as normal. Rev Colin Caskie remains Interim Moderator and Rev Donald Maclennan has been appointed as Locum.

"We are very encouraged that so many members wish to remain with the Church of Scotland and we will be working with the congregation and its new leaders to ensure that the Word of God is preached faithfully in Tarbert."

Tarbert Church is in vacancy. The Presbytery organised a postal ballot of all members and adherents, sending out 312 forms. 225 were returned, a response rate of 72%. 131 people indicated an intention to remain in the Church of Scotland with 94 people expressing an intention to leave.