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Church of Scotland to sell half its Aberdeen churches

The Aberdeen Presbytery review aims to dispose of 15 traditional buildings in order to "reshape the church estate" for "renewal and revitalisation".

Rev Scott Rennie, planning convener for the Presbytery, told Premier the removal of these structures will help the Church serve congregations more effectively.

"There's too many traditional buildings and not enough buildings of the kind we need for a modern way of being church.

The report also outlines plans to build a number of new buildings with up-to-date facilities and spaces to serve the local community.

Rev Rennie, of Queen's Cross Parish Church, says that a number of congregations plan to "move out of traditional church buildings all together" to encourage worship within "community hubs".

He explained that flexibility is an important part of being missional, saying: "We really have to let some of them go in order to generate the resources to build the new ones we want.

"In some cases, we're better not to have a building because really church is about people, it's about ministry and mission.

"Although often buildings are a great tool for these, sometimes in actual fact that gets in the way."

Rennie argued that many people don't feel comfortable entering traditional church buildings.

"We're not seeking to remove a Christian presence [from Aberdeen] but very often, if our church looks too traditional and too imposing it actually acts as a barrier.

"We have to be a bit more open minded about what church can look like in the future, we have to be willing to experiment and innovate in terms of bringing people to faith."

Other elements of the 10 year plan include training for lay people and a more communal approach to services to reduce isolation within individual parishes.

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