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Tragic vicar's behaviour 'contrary' to God's word

Fri 28 Apr 2017
By Alex Williams

The behaviour of a senior Free Church of Scotland figure was "contrary" to the word of God, an investigation by the Church has concluded.

Rev Dr Iain D Campbell from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides had previously been accused by his wife of having affairs with seven women.

The 53 year old hanged himself in a hospital in January 2017 while waiting to be treated for an overdose.

Now, an investigation by the local presbytery has found the 53 year old's actions prior to his death were "seriously inconsistent with that expected of a Christian minister".

Rev James Maciver, the minister of Stornoway Free Church, said: "The Western Isles Presbytery has completed a thorough investigation into serious allegations about the conduct of the late Rev Dr Iain D Campbell prior to his death.

"The Presbytery has now sadly concluded that elements of Dr Campbell's moral conduct were contrary to, and censurable by, the Word of God (Bible), and seriously inconsistent with that expected of a Christian minister."

After Dr Iain's funeral, his widow, Anne, reported the seven women she accused of adultery to the Free Church of Scotland.

Earlier this week, it emerged one woman had been suspended from communion for one year, two others had been publicly reprimanded and a fourth was exonerated.

In a new statement, Rev Maciver added: "Following the investigation, each local Kirk Session has carried out appropriate disciplinary action, according to guidelines laid down in the Practice of the Free Church of Scotland.

"Bearing in mind that the Church has a duty of care to all parties, this has been carried out in private.

"The Presbytery will continue to consider how to bring this sad episode to a conclusion and what we may learn from it.

"The last few weeks have been a deeply distressing time for all concerned. The Presbytery would appeal to everyone within the Free Church of Scotland for unity and prayerfulness.

"The Presbytery wishes to particularly remember Iain's wife, Anne, and the rest of the family. We urge the Church to pray for them, and for all those affected by recent tragic events, that God will provide comfort and healing for them."

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