A city minister has urged kirk bosses to think again about plans to close his church and warned of the impact the decision could have on the community.
Woodside Parish Church could be closed as part of the Church of Scotland’s Radical Action Plan, which aims to reform every level of the Presbytery.
But Rev Markus Auffermann fears members of his congregation could be left “church homeless” if it is closed. And he claimed the whole community would bear the brunt of the impact.
He said: “I am heartbroken and saddened by the decision to include Woodside in the Radical Action Plan.
“I am sad not just for my church, but for all the churches which are at risk. People will become ‘church homeless’.
“Many people have been coming here for decades and won’t go to another church building. A lot of faithful members will be lost and the church cannot afford that.
“It will also be a huge loss for the community of Woodside. A church is important to many people.
“It is a spiritual home to a congregation and many people of each parish and community. It is a safe haven for people and a place of hope and peace and happiness.”
Rev Auffermann insisted that if Woodside does close, the Church of Scotland must help keep his congregation together.
He said: “It may be the case that the building has to go. If that is the case, it is the Church’s responsibility to help us find a new space.
“We have children’s groups and community groups and they are going to need somewhere to go.”
A Church of Scotland spokesman said: “The Presbytery of Aberdeen has published a 10-year plan, a range of ambitious proposals which aims to reshape the church estate to allow for renewal and revitalisation.
“The report makes recommendations on whether buildings will be retained or disposed of at some stage in the future because the Presbytery has a legacy of many more church buildings than needed.
“At the heart of the decision-making process is the desire to see a sustainable future for the Church of Scotland and its effective mission and pastoral care for the people of Aberdeen.
“The Presbytery aims to ensure that it can have well-equipped spaces in the right places across the city and if the plan is followed through, it will lead to significant new investment in church communities as well as the formation of new worshipping formats in different kinds of spaces and buildings.
“We will continue to liaise with ministers and congregations as we go through this process.”