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Church of Scotland minister apologises after neighbourly row over bird feeder results in investigation

by Sophie Drew
bird feeder.jpg - Banner image
Hugh Olliff /Alamy Stock Photo

A Church of Scotland minister has had to apologise after a dispute over a bird feeder resulted in a complaint being launched against him.

Rev Steve Clipston, minister for Auchinleck and Catrine, is believed to have placed a bird feeder on the hedge that divides his property from his elderly neighbour, David Wright.

The 75-year-old neighbour took offence to the feeder, and asked Rev Clipston’s wife to remove it.

However, the initial complaint was met with an angry outburst from the clergyman, prompting Mr Wright to complain to the Presbytery of Ayr about the incident.

He said that Rev Clipston used a string of expletives, including the F word, and acted in an “unbecoming” fashion.

The clergyman has admitted to using cross words, but says he did not swear.

The complaint has been upheld, and prompted an investigation. The church has declined to speak on the sanctions that Rev Clipston faced.

He has since written to his neighbours to apologise.

A Church of Scotland spokesperson said: “The Presbytery of Ayr received a complaint at the end of October 2021 against the Rev Steve Clipston.

“In line with the Presbytery’s Protocol an investigation took place.

“That matter has now concluded with the complaint being upheld.

“It is our hope that following the conclusion of this complaint both parties will endeavour to engage in a civil relationship.”

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