Church elder suspended from parish for transporting rams on a Sunday

Calum Macleod suspended from Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), which opposes seven-day transport, for travelling on a Sunday.

Knock and Point Free Church of Scotland in Stornoway, where Calum Macleod was suspended from. Image from Iain Maciver. 25/11/13.
Iain Maciver

A church elder was suspended for a month by parish chiefs for transporting his rams on a Sunday.

Calum Macleod was rapped by fellow members of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) (FCC), who oppose Sabbath ferry sailings.

The ram breeder made the Sunday trip back to Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, after missing his Saturday boat home from a market in Ullapool.

The ram breeder reported himself to kirk bosses on his return.

The hardline FCC is among the few churches which claim using Sunday transport to the islands cannot ever be justified. When Sunday ferries to Stornoway began in July 2009, and Sunday flights back in July 2002, it was mainly the FCC which turned out to protest with banners and to sing psalms.

Stornoway FCC minister Rev Graeme Craig, who is also interim moderator for the Knock and Point congregation, confirmed: "After considering the matter carefully and sympathetically, Mr Macleod was suspended from office and membership for one month.

"Although the kirk session had concerns about the use of the ferry on Sabbath, they were more concerned about the unnecessary collection of animals that day. He has now resumed his duties as an elder in the congregation."

Mr Macleod, from Braighe Road near Stornoway, said: "I brought the matter to which you allude before the kirk session quite some time ago and I requested that it be considered formally.

"I am happy to say that all things were resolved amicably after proper ecclesiastical process and the matter is now closed and completely in the past."

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