A splinter in the membership of Stornoway High Church on Lewis has split family and friends, an elder has admitted.
John Cunningham said it was “disappointing” that so many people had left before a final decision on whether people in same-sex relationships should be appointed ministers.
Mr Cunningham said: “We are disappointed we have lost so many people and there are families and friends divided – it not a good situation to be in.
“But it has been amicable and we accept that people hold strong principles and have separated for reasons of conviction.
“It was a quiet parting of ways and there is a sense of peace and unity in the High Church so we are grateful of that.”
Mr Cunningham said about 90 people were still attending services on Sunday mornings, along with 70 in the evenings.
“Those who have remained are fully committed and appreciate what the Church is doing for them,” he added.
“It is a 100-year-old witness and they come from generations of people who have worshipped in that building.
“Hopefully some people will drift back, we know of others who have just stayed at home over the last couple of years.”
The General Assembly’s Lord High Commissioner Prince Edward and his wife Sophie will officially open a youth facility at Martin’s Memorial Church in Stornoway later this week.