Rev. Scott Rennie

Presbytery Meeting March 22
Queens Cross Parish Church

 

After the Easter services at Queens Cross Church, Aberdeen, their minister for 13 years, Rev Scott Rennie, left for a new charge at Crown Court, Church of Scotland, London. His induction will be on 5th May 2022.

At a recent Presbytery meeting tributes were paid for Scott’s faith and commitment to his congregation and he was praised for his achievements in this city church. Mr. Mike Leys, Session Clerk at Queens Cross Church spoke of his endearing leadership qualities, “it will be no surprise to you to hear that Scott is a man of faith, most publicly evidenced by his faith that Aberdeen Football Club will win more than two games in a row, will dominate the league in times to come, win every Scottish domestic competition there is, possibly all in the same season. But leaving that seemingly impossible achievement for the moment, and on behalf of our congregation I can say that our loss is Crown Court’s gain. In Scott they have chosen an inspired, and inspiring leader. Through his personal skills, his commitment to the congregation, his wisdom and his visible faith in action, we have been blessed to have a minister that continued the line of outstanding preachers that Queen’s Cross has had over the many years since the original congregation was established.”

Scott thanked many of his congregation and responded by saying, “It has been the honour of my life to be their minister, and to serve here.  I served here as young, thin and dark-haired probationer. Not only did they put their faith in me when they called me, but from there they trusted me in our endeavour to try and reshape congregational life to speak to the wider community of which we are part, and to better share Christ’s love in the community we love.”

Scott speaking at Presbytery Meeting March 22

Scott has a deep conviction towards liberal theology, inclusion and openness. Mike said in his tribute “This has meant that Queens Cross church has grown in so many ways during his ministry when other churches were declining. As a result the church was able to welcome new members and visitors to Sunday worship, and under Scott’s direction with early adoption of modern technology, worship was made accessible to all.”

 

 

Technology at Queens Cross Church enabling the first Hybrid Presbytery Meetings to be trialled here

During Scott’s ministry the congregation discovered what it means to be a church that is relevant to modern society, to find its place in the community knowing that it is continually evolving. Scott’s love for the city of Aberdeen where he was born and raised, spilled out into a wider ministerial role. He was recently recognised for this contribution at a Civic Reception hosted by the Lord Provost, Barney Crockett.

Rev Scott Rennie signs the visitors book.
Photo Credit Norman Adams, Aberdeen City Council

Mr. Crockett said: “Scott has made a unique contribution during the time that he has been the minister at Queen’s Cross Church. I am aware of the strength of feeling in the wider community about the impact he has made and the civic event was a great opportunity to have a joyful celebration about what he has achieved and express thanks. It was a terrific event, there was real warmth there and I don’t think we have ever held one that people were so keen to come to.”

Lord Provost Hosts Civic Dinner for Rev. Scott Rennie

L-R Barney Crockett, Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Rev Scott Rennie and Jennifer Stewart, Depute Provost of Aberdeen.
Image – Norman Adams, Aberdeen City Council.

Scott’s calling to ministry came at a very early age. He says, “whilst growing up in Bucksburn, I was heavily influenced by the 25th Aberdeen Company of the Boys Brigade and also in the Youth Fellowship at Newhills Parish Church. I felt called to the ministry from the age of 14, to the puzzlement of the school career advisor and many others. I knew from that age I wanted to serve God with my life and vocation. The call of the young man Samuel in the Old Testament was a story that always resonated with me. The ways in which I think about God have changed markedly from those young days, with life experience and maturity reshaping my thoughts about God, but the life of Jesus continually inspires me more than ever to try and help people and make a difference for good and justice in the world.”

During his time at Queens Cross Church, he brought about a huge renovation project which has created a remarkable venue for Christian worship and serves the needs of the wider community. It comprises many different rooms and halls for meetings, concerts and worship and includes ‘Cognito at the Cross’ coffee shop as well as a nursery for pre-school children. He says humbly, “In our life together we have simply tried to reshape church life in partnership with the wider community of which we are part. The congregation backed that vision and put their money where their mouth was, in a supreme effort that allowed the redevelopment of this suite of buildings with the coffee house now a community within a community. It is a neutral space within a church where people can come to meet workmates, friends and colleagues. Sharing lunch with friends or sipping coffee with colleagues they can catch a glimpse of the many facets of the church and its mission of healing and justice. Sometimes locals dip in and participate in them, be that worship, educational opportunities, musical offerings or social justice work.”

Cognito at the Cross

Scott with fellow ministers in the grouping,
L-R Scott, Rev. Robert Smith, Rev. Tanya Webster, Rev. Duncan Eddie

As the Presbytery faces the challenges of change ahead, Scott spoke of his own perspectives on this providing encouragement to Presbytery members and his congregation, “there is nothing surer than change, and change is necessary, even if it is scary, and anxiety provoking at times.  It brings new and exciting possibilities with it. Queen’s Cross Church faces a very large change with the Presbytery Plan, alongside many other congregations, but in coming together with its sister churches, the church will be even better able to serve the community in which we all live. I know through working with my colleagues, whose friendship and collegiality I have hugely appreciated and valued over the years, there are exciting possibilities for the years ahead together. That is true across the Presbytery. Yes, change is being brought through consolidation and financial necessity, but I really believe it is hastening a move that should have taken place years ago, and would have, happened had we had the courage to leave our congregational silos, and look forward in faith with our neighbours.”

Scott leaves a legacy of faith in action and a clear sense of how churches should evolve to face their challenges in the future. Mike Leys said, “we have been shown what it takes to be willing to accept our responsibilities for the necessary changes involving Queen’s Cross, and to act in faith alongside our local partners of our enlarged Parish Grouping to support the work of our Presbytery in developing the new Presbytery Mission Plan. Scott’s legacy to us is a congregation confident in our future, with a clear sense of identity and able to meet all challenges that lie before us. Yes, Scott leaves us, but he does so with the thanks of our congregation for his service to us, and our blessings for his future.”

Scott’s last service at Queens Cross Church- Easter Sunday 17th April 2022

We say goodbye to a visionary church leader, a proud Aberdonian and keen Dons fan. We do well to follow his ‘can do’ attitude and share his belief in Aberdeen Football Club’s future success!

At the Presbytery meeting he shared the Aberdeen parting ‘Bon Accord Friends’ and we say, Happy to meet, Sorry to part, Happy to meet again Scott!

 

Front entrance of Crown Court Church London

We wish Scott every blessing as he moves to settle in London and we pray that his ministry at Crown Court Church will be fruitful and filled with joy.