Mediators have been appointed to resolve disputes at an Aberdeen church.
Arguments have arisen within the Aberdeen and Orkney diocese of the Scottish Episcopal Church in recent years.
Conflicting claims of “bullying” have been made after an independent review was commissioned in March to settle disagreements.
Some accused Bishop Anne Dyer, bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, of “bullying” other church members as part of the process.
However, following the report’s publication, the bishop herself revealed she had also been subjected to “repeated attacks on social media”.
Mediators have now been appointed to lead discussions to ease tensions within the church.
What will the process involve?
A three-person steering group, chaired by David Strang, a former chief constable of Dumfries and Galloway and Lothian police, has been established to lead the process.
That group has now appointed Dundee University’s mediation and early dispute resolution service to conduct the talks.
A Scottish Episcopal Church statement read: “A general invitation has been sent out from the mediation steering group to the diocese providing information about the proposed process and inviting those who might wish to participate to make contact.
“The process is entirely voluntary and all engagement with the mediation team will be confidential. The mediators are all accredited by Scottish Mediation and have expertise in resolving workplace conflict.
“The steering group also wishes to ensure that individuals are supported appropriately during this period of dispute resolution and have made arrangements to offer confidential pastoral support and care to anyone who may wish to engage in this process.”
Conflicting views of investigation report
It is understood there are differing views on the Scottish Episcopal Church’s independent report, which was compiled by Iain Torrance, a former moderator of the Church of Scotland.
There were 115 submissions to the process with many said to have stretched to more than 40 pages.
However, concerns have since been raised that some voices have not been properly heard in the process – with the mediation process established to address the issue.
Meanwhile, Mrs Dyer herself said the report had “not fully addressed” the issue she had originally raised with the College of Bishops.