News by emailDonate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Rev-Prof-Laurence-Kirkpatrick-main_article_image.png
Diocese of Down and Dromore
UK News

Professor sacked for BBC contribution says he's considering leaving the Presbyterian Church

by Eno Adeogun

Rev Prof Laurence Kirkpatrick was found guilty of "gross misconduct" by a church disciplinary panel after his June 2018 BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme appearance.

He discussed the Presbyterian Church's decision to loosen its ties to the Church of Scotland, which was mainly due to the Kirk's less traditional view of same-sex relationships.

 

In the church's letter sent to Rev Kirkpatrick - who worked at Union Theological College (UTC), he was told that he had taken part in the programme "at a time when there was considerable media comment, mostly of an adverse nature, about your employer, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland".

It added that he had failed to gain the Church's approval for taking part and that his comments during the broadcast were "unacceptable".

Rev Kirkpatrick told BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence that if he left the church it would be with a "heavy heart".

"Leaving the Presbyterian Church is certainly an option for me, and it is one that I will consider and I will think about that," he said.

"Why would I stay in an organisation that has sacked me?"

A spokesperson for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland said in a statement sent to Premier: "We are aware that Dr Kirkpatrick chose to go onto BBC's Sunday Sequence programme today and are also aware of the remarks he made.

"However, it would be improper for us to comment in detail at this time. While we would obviously differ with many of the points he sought to make, to respond to them in any specific way while a personnel matter is still ongoing, and subject to due process, would be very inappropriate. 

"Moving forward, the College will continue to ensure that students from home and overseas will benefit from theological study in a warm and positive Christian environment, being taught by academic theologians of the highest standing, some of whom are indeed world leaders in their field."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate