The Union of Aberdeen North took place on Monday 1st February 2021 with the aim of creating a new Church and Community Facility for Mastrick, Northfield and Summerhill Communities.
People living in the Mastrick, Northfield and Summerhill communities will know that there are many community facilities which are disappearing, but the Church of Scotland is planning to create a new church building in the area. They will firmly plant a pioneering community of faith promoting the work of the Presbytery of Aberdeen and Shetland, Church of Scotland’s vision to ‘reimagine and renew’ congregational life for the 21st Century.
This has all been facilitated by the proactive vision of the congregations of Mastrick, Northfield and Summerhill Parish churches. They realised that their congregational numbers and the circumstances related to their existing church buildings needed radical action to develop and nurture a new and innovative way of being a church. They chose to come together and become one church, and from Monday 1st February 2021 they will be known as the ‘Aberdeen North Parish Church of Scotland’.
The ministers at Mastrick Church, the Rev Susan Sutherland and the Rev Michael Shewan at Summerhill Church have been actively working to bring their congregations together since 2017. They have held many shared services and social events including holidays away which have allowed the members of each church to get to know each other. They have appreciated the need to come together to ensure the continuity of a church community in the area. More recently, the Northfield congregation has also been working with the other two congregations to help bring the three of them together as one. The Northfield minister, the Rev Scott Guy, retired at the end of 2020.
Rev Susan Sutherland said, “Ministers can often feel isolated and become lone workers, but working together in a team ministry means we can bring our different experiences and different gifts to our roles. We are better together.”
Rev Michael Shewan agreed with this and stated, “We both have experience of being involved in a new build church. The mission of the church is to reach out to people with the message that God is there to care for them. A purpose-built building will give us the opportunity to make this new space a convenient and welcoming place for people from all sectors of the community.
All three churches currently offer facilities for different community groups and uniformed organisations with regular visitors from their communities. This is important in these areas of Aberdeen and can be vital for the mental, emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals. This new venture will enhance this provision with modern facilities and ample car parking space and it will be funded through the sale of the present buildings.
There is a feeling of excitement amongst church leaders and church members as they recognise that the Church of Scotland is investing in creating ‘well equipped spaces in the right places’.
This positive development for the years ahead is helping church communities to get through these pandemic times and to look forward to a brighter future.