A NORTH-EAST minister has been suspended while an investigation into his conduct is carried out.
The Reverend Stephen Emery has been told to stay away from his duties at Ellon Parish Church after authorities received allegations about his behaviour.
Senior clergy from the Presbytery of Gordon have started a probe into the claims.
Concerns were brought to the attention of church leaders before the congreation was informed of the minister’s suspension at a service on Sunday.
Church of Scotland officials have declined to reveal the specifics of the investigation.
A spokesman said: “The Presbytery of Gordon has received allegations about Rev Stephen Emery, and has started an investigation according to normal procedures.
“While the investigation continues, Mr Emery has been placed on temporary suspension.
“The investigation is a private matter and it is not appropriate for the Presbytery to make any further comment until it is concluded.”
Mr Emery said he had no comment to make, adding that he was bound by presbytery law and could say nothing ahead of a hearing.
The Church of Scotland spokesman said there was no timescale for how long the investigation will take.
Mr Emery was ordained in November, 2006, and inducted into the Ellon parish the same month.
According to the parish website, he was a “horticulturist to trade when called to ministry.”