Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) (
Scottish Gaelic: An Eaglais Shaor a leantainn) is a Scottish Presbyteriandenomination which was formed in January 2000. It professes to continue the work of the Free Church of Scotland (post 1900), which claims to continue the work of the Free Church of Scotland (1843-1900).
Beginning in the 1980s there was some dissatisfaction with the manner in which allegations of sexual impropriety against Professor Donald Macleod of the Free Church College were handled. MacLeod was acquitted in the secular courts, with the sherrif ruling he was the victim of a conspiracy. In the Free Church General Assembly Macleod was, without any formal trial, cleared of
adultery. However, there were those who did not accept these verdicts. After an extended period of church action, more than twenty ministers were removed from their pulpits and suspended following charges of contumacy. On 20 January, 2000the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) was formed when these ministers and others left the Commission of Assembly and claimed to reconstitute the denomination in Magdalen Chapel.
Following their departure, FCC sought a declarator from the Court of Session as to ownership of the central funds and properties of the Church. When the appeal was sent to the outer house of the
Court of Session, Lady Paton dismissed their action without granting absolvitor. [ [http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2005CSOH46.html Court Case decision] , retrieved 16 June 2007] The FCC then marked their intention to appeal Lady Paton's opinion, but ultimately chose not to proceed.
Due to the nature of her decision, the ownership of properties presently in the hands of the FCC remains in dispute, along with significant assets presently frozen. In March 2007 the Free Church of Scotland proceeded to take legal action at Broadford, in the
Isle of Skye, seeking to reclaim the church manse.
While the denomination is recognized by a number of Reformed denominations and Affinity, due to their involvement in court action at the time, the denomination was refused full membership in the
International Conference of Reformed Churchesin 2005.
The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) presently has over 50 congregations, holding regular meetings in
Scotland, Australia, Canada, the USA and Wales. It is involved in mission work in Zambiaand maintains its own theological seminary.
* [http://www.freekirkcontinuing.co.uk/FCC/Welcome.html The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)]
* [http://www.freechurchseminary.org The Free Church Continuing Seminary]
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