A major row is erupting in the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) with half the paid clergy in one region rebelling over the appointment of their new bishop.
A letter to bishops of the Anglican SEC on Friday accused them of fostering ‘disquiet and division’ by nominating Canon Anne Dyer, the first female bishop in the SEC who is also strongly in favour of gay marriage, to be bishop of the largely conservative Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney.
Dyer is now being urged to step down from her promotion with clergy protesting her appointment.
Two senior clergy have already quit over the issue and the letter threatens that ‘others are considering similar action’ in a diocese that is already struggling to fill a number of empty posts across its 41 churches.
It comes after the failure of the normal nomination process where church members within the diocese failed to name the required minimum of three candidates. The other bishops in the SEC then took over the process and nominated Dyer, but according to the protesters failed to consult clergy or churchgoers in the diocese first.