Causeway Coast Vineyard and Vineyard Churches UK and Ireland have released a statement following allegations of "historic" "spiritual abuse” committed by a pastor at Vineyard Anaheim.
It’s alleged Alan Scott instituted “salvation quotas” for staff, making them record how many people they had led to Christ, following his instalment as pastor of the church in 2020.
The Roys Report, a Christian media blog on abuse and corruption in the church, published the allegations last month saying some congregants had accused Scott of “spiritual abuse”.
A former Vineyard Anaheim college pastor, Cynthia Andrews, claims Scott expected her to convert three people for every hour she spent evangelising.
Others said Scott would schedule last minute meetings to see who was dedicated enough to attend, amongst other “loyalty tests”.
At present, Vineyard Anaheim is working to legally separate itself from Vineyard USA.
Causeway Coast Vineyard and Vineyard Churches UK and Ireland has released a statement acknowledging that they had been made aware of concerns raised by people in the UK after the announcement regarding Vineyard Anaheim's departure, and announcing that an independent review is underway.
They say recent reports may have “caused or raised concerns,” even amongst people not involved in the ongoing process, and have reaffirmed their commitment to safeguarding and assured congregants, urging anyone with safeguarding concerns to contact the independent safeguarding helpline, ThirtyOne:Eight, or Vineyard church directly.
The full statement reads: “We are deeply saddened to hear about historic concerns reported in the press, most recently the Roy’s Report, relating to Alan Scott’s time at Causeway Coast Vineyard.
“We recognise the bravery it takes to speak up, and are grateful to those who have raised concerns. We are praying for those who have come forward in this difficult time.
“Causeway Coast Vineyard (CCV) and Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland (VCUKI) are committed to caring for and safeguarding those who attend and visit our churches.
“The trustees of both CCV and VCUKI were made aware of concerns raised by people in the UK with Vineyard USA after the announcement that Vineyard Anaheim was leaving the Vineyard movement.
“On being made aware of those concerns CCV and VCUKI commissioned an independent review process run by an experienced third party.
“This process is nearing completion and we hope to comment more fully in the coming weeks.
"We recognise that recent press reports may have caused or raised concerns for others who are not part of that process.
They concluded the statement by saying: "We continue to pray for all concerned."
Information on how you can contact the Vineyard UK safeguarding team is available here.