A Dundee church at the centre of a planning row over a giant cross has won support from an unusual source — The Scottish Secular Society.
Gilfillan Memorial Church on Whitehall Crescent has erected a 12-foot high cross on the rear of the building.
The structure now overlooks Dock Street and the waterfront area.
Dundee City Council said it is investigating whether the cross breaches rules as the church has not applied for planning permission for the symbol.
A spokesman for the independent church said he believed the joiners who installed the structure had secured consent from the council.
Despite the size of the cross, which is visible from across the waterfront area, The Scottish Secular Society said the church is “within its rights” to display it as long as it secures the necessary permission.
Chairwoman Megan Crawford: “The Scottish Secular Society consider a church, or any religious organisation, displaying a symbol of their faith to be potentially viewed by the public to be fully within their rights of worship.
“As long as the Gilfillan Memorial church is not building on other people’s property, and remaining solely on their own, then it is their right to erect a 12-foot- tall crucifix.”
However, she said the church should not be “afforded any special privilege” when it comes to planning laws.
She said: “There is never good reason to violate the law, and that includes building codes and planning permissions.
“The Gilfillan Memorial church should not be afforded any privilege or special treatment by the city council for their violations.
“Should we expect any other business or private citizen to build without permission and not be prosecuted? No.”
Gilfillan Memorial Church is a B-listed building that was opened in 1888.
Listed building controls do not apply to churches due to what is known as ecclesiastical exemption.
However, this is limited to the interior of the buildings and alterations to the exterior of a building must go through the secular planning system.
If the church’s application is unsuccessful and it is unable to reach an accommodation with the planning authority, the application will be referred to the decision-making body within the denomination concerned.