Kirk sex scandal revealed in book

A former Angus minister, who resigned in the wake of a sex scandal which rocked the Church of Scotland and the glens community, has given a personal account of her life in a book which will be released this week.

Former Glens associate minister Helen Douglas (46), formerly known as Helen Percy, tells her side of a story which split the local congregation and led all the way to the House of Lords as she battled to clear her name.

In her book entitled Scandalous, Immoral and Improper she writes of a childhood scarred by abuse and claims she underwent an abortion after the alleged incident which ultimately led to her resignation from the church.

As the associate minister to the rural parishes of Glenisla, Kilry, Lintrathen, Airlie, Ruthven and Kingoldrum, Helen Percy became embroiled in controversy over an alleged affair with a married elder.

She was suspended by the kirk over the matter and had been due to become the first ever woman minister to face a church trial by libel, but that was avoided when she demitted her status in the wake of the 1997 scandal.

A legal fight ensued which involved the Court of Session and the House of Lords before a £10,000 out of court settlement was agreed ahead of an employment tribunal. The author then spent time in South Africa before returning to Angus, hitting the headlines again earlier this year when she was placed on probation at Perth Sheriff Court after admitting benefit fraud. She will give a talk on her book, in which she tells of growing up at the hands of what she claims was an abusive father, at the Edinburgh Book Fringe on Sunday, August 21 at 2.30pm at Word Power Books, 43-45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh.