Various concerns and allegations have been raised in relation to the leadership of Causeway Coast Vineyard (CCV) under Alan Scott, who was Senior Pastor until June 2017. These were raised with Vineyard USA following Alan Scott’s announcement in early 2022 that he was taking Vineyard Anaheim out of the Vineyard movement to become Dwelling Place.
CCV and Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland (VCUKI) were made aware of these concerns in December 2022 and commissioned an independent review process in February 2023, run by an experienced third party – Trusted HR Ltd.
Trusted HR reached out through Vineyard USA to those from the UK who had raised concerns. Following an initial round of interviews, Trusted HR have identified themes and repeated patterns of behaviour including examples of manipulation, inappropriate comments, narcissistic behaviour, and certain occurrences of public shaming and spiritual abuse.
The allegations primarily relate to Alan Scott and have been put to him, but he did not respond.
In light of the initial findings, the National Directors and trustees of VCUKI, and the trustees, Senior Pastors and the senior leadership team of CCV acknowledge that wrong and hurtful conduct has occurred at CCV, and apologise to all those who were hurt, harmed, mistreated or in any way negatively impacted by their time at Causeway Coast Vineyard.
The trustees of CCV acknowledge that they are responsible for the governance and oversight of CCV. They accept that they failed to spot some of the warning signs and did not have sufficient structures in place to ensure complaints came to the attention of trustees, and they apologise to those who have been hurt.
The National Directors, the leadership team and trustees of VCUKI acknowledge their responsibility as Alan Scott was a licensed Vineyard Pastor. They accept that they failed to spot some of the warning signs and did not have sufficient structures in place to ensure matters were properly addressed, and they apologise to those who have been hurt. Alan is no longer a Vineyard pastor and so we have no disciplinary power over him.
Neil Young was mentioned in the review and has engaged fully with the review process.
In acknowledgement of this review and statement, Neil and Janet want, with all their hearts, to apologise to anyone who has been hurt by leadership at Causeway Coast Vineyard. Neil personally is so sorry for any of his actions that have caused pain or meant that anyone has had a negative experience at this church.
CCV’s mission is to be a community of hope, passionately pursuing God’s heart for his city through our ordinary, everyday lives. We are sorry that as a church we have not always acted well and been all that Jesus called us to be. We recognise the need to acknowledge the past and be transparent about what we got wrong. We hope that this interim statement and apology will, belatedly and in a small way, allow some to begin to move forward in their journey of healing and wholeness.
We recognise that others may have concerns and we understand the limits of the process to date, so we are opening it up more widely. We invite anyone with concerns relating to CCV, along similar lines to the themes outlined or new concerns, to contact Trusted HR by 31st July 2023 on firstname.lastname@example.org. Any engagement with Trusted HR is confidential and they will email you with further information, with a view to enabling people to be heard. We expect this process will take approximately four months to complete and we intend to issue a summary report and recommendations at that time.
CCV and VCUKI have set aside a fund for those who attended CCV, have engaged with Trusted HR and would like to access counselling. We hope this will allow those impacted to access help. Please contact email@example.com for more information. (This email is confidential and managed by a staff member reporting directly to representatives of both trustee groups).
If you wish to contact VCUKI on this issue please email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to contact the trustees at CCV please email email@example.com
Please note there are limits to what either group can say given the ongoing process.