Church of Scotland considers selling half Aberdeen’s churches

Almost half of Aberdeen’s churches are being considered for sale as part of a “once in a generation” review.

The 10-year plan recommends 15 buildings for disposal, with 15 being retained and the future of a further three under consideration.

The Church of Scotland report said it aimed “to reshape the church estate”.

Rev Scott Rennie, planning convener for the Presbytery, said there were “many more” church buildings than needed and that “difficult choices” lay ahead.

The 15 being recommended for sale are:

  • Bucksburn and Stoneywood
  • Craigiebuckler
  • Dyce
  • Holburn West
  • Kingswells
  • Mastrick
  • Middlefield
  • Northfield
  • Rubislaw
  • Ruthrieston West
  • South St Nicholas
  • St Mary’s
  • St Stephen’s
  • Summerhill
  • Woodside

The Presbytery of Aberdeen review is to “allow for the renewal and revitalisation of the national Church in Aberdeen”.

Rev Rennie, of Queen’s Cross Church, explained: “The Presbytery has a legacy of many more church buildings than they need.

“We recognise that we will have to make some difficult choices on which buildings should be retained and which should be let go.

“At the heart of our decision-making process is the desire to see a sustainable future for the Church of Scotland and its effective mission and pastoral care for the people of Aberdeen Presbytery.

He said if the plan was followed through it would lead to “significant new investment” in church communities across the city, as well as the formation of new worshipping communities in different kinds of spaces and buildings.

Rev Rennie added: “The future for the Church of Scotland is to be closer to our communities, meeting in a range of different spaces, as well as investing in buildings which meet our needs now and in the future.”

Last year plans to close 20 Shetland churches in three years were announced.

Plans to convert a former church into Aberdeen’s only Hindu temple were also unveiled last month.

Aberdeen Hindu Temple Trust has submitted plans to transform Old Stoneywood Church.

First published 09.10.19:

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