Former minister walks away with head held high

Former minister of Torphichen, Sandi McGill
Former minister of Torphichen, Sandi McGill

A former minister who was suspended by the Church of Scotland has finally decided to walk away – after alleged delays in handling her case.

Sandi McGill, former minister of the conjoined parishes of Torphichen and Avonbridge left the ministry on March 17 after suffering the torment of a lengthy suspension.

It has been alleged that the church did nothing to deal with the issues over the course of almost a year.

Sandi said: “What transpired in West Lothian Presbytery was a sad situation.

“It left me no longer wishing to be a minister of the church.

“Most of what needed to be conveyed to anyone interested has been done so through the ‘Free The Torphichen One’ Facebook page.

“I continue to be involved with the Church of Scotland in worship and through my work in the writers’ circle of ‘Spill the Beans’ worship resource (www.spillbeans.org).”

Sandi was asked to step down from her ministry by the Kirk Session.

The unexpected decision met with mixed reactions at the time from the congregations – it split opinion in the quiet villages.

Some claimed her modern style of ministry led to an ever-increasing litany of complaints and resignations, with several elders resenting her new approach.

But one village resident, who asked not to be named, said: “When she arrived, she was like a new broom – a breath of fresh air. It’s really what the church needed.”

The Church of Scotland said: “On March 17, Ms Sandi McGill demitted both her charge of Avonbridge with Torphichen and her status as a minister of the Church of Scotland.

“She has decided to move away from the area and seek new opportunities in different types of work.

“The Church wishes her well for the future. With the support of the Presbytery, the congregations are also now embarking with hope onto the next stage of their journey.”