Scotland

Scottish Episcopal Church elects Rt Rev Mark Strange as new Primus

Bishop Mark Strange Image copyright Scottish Episcopal Church
Image caption The new Primus takes over after the church voted to allow same-sex marriage

The Right Reverend Mark Strange has been elected Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The 56-year-old father-of-three has been bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness since 2007.

He succeeds the Most Reverend David Chillingworth as Primus.

Bishop Strange said: "I am humbled by the confidence shown in me by my colleagues and I will seek to serve the church as Primus with love and strength."

He added: "I am deeply privileged to be the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and am very aware that it has been 82 years since a Bishop of Moray became Primus. I pray that I may be worthy of this trust.

"I will continue to serve in my beloved Highlands while I also step out into new and exciting journeys of faith in both Scotland and the wider international church."

'Opt-in'

Bishop Strange, who is married with a son and two daughters, takes up this role as a Primate within the Anglican Communion after the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to permit same-sex marriage.

It makes it the first major Christian church in the UK to allow same-sex marriages.

The vote to amend canon law on marriage, removing the stipulation that it is between a man and a woman, was carried by the Synod in Edinburgh earlier this month.

It means that gay Christians from any Anglican Church can now ask to be married in a Scottish Episcopal Church.

Clergy who wish to officiate at gay marriages will have to "opt-in".

The decision is expected to be on the agenda at the upcoming Primates Meeting in Canterbury.

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