More than 600 Presbyterians sign protest letter over same-sex stance
A LETTER urging the Presbyterian Moderator to provide a forum for "debate" within the church has been signed by more than 600 members of the church.
The letter, from the Creative Conversation Group (CCG), also accused the Presbyterian Church of failing to live up to its commitment to "consultation and engagement" with its members on major issues.
It comes after the the general assembly voted in June to adopt a new policy that means those in a same-sex relationship cannot be a full member of the Church.
Former Alliance Party leader Lord Alderdice was among those to criticise the church at the time and resigned as an elder in protest.
In the letter to Dr Charles McMullen, the CCG claim the report "arrived at the recent general assembly without full and proper consideration or debate".
The group said it wanted "to assert the long-held right of Presbyterians to exercise their God-given right of private judgment, having examined the Holy Scripture and been guided by the Holy Spirit".
In a statement, the Presbyterian Church said it was "very disappointing" that the authors of the letter had chose to "circulate it".
It also said "there are many opportunities for dialogue and discussion in the Presbyterian Church".