Vineyard leaders resign amid disagreements over Alan Scott review

Neil and Janet Young.

Senior Vineyard leaders Neil and Janet Young are parting ways with the denomination amid disagreements over an independent review into allegations surrounding Alan Scott. 

The pair have led the Causeway Coast Vineyard church (CCV) in Northern Ireland since 2017 - when Scott moved to California to lead Anaheim Vineyard. 

Scott later shocked the denomination by removing the church and its assets from Vineyard USA and renaming it Dwelling Place. 

Former Vineyard staff later accused Scott of manipulation and spiritually abusive behaviour. 

In February, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland commissioned an independent review process into the allegations, the findings of which are due to be published on Sunday. 

In July, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland and the trustees and senior leadership team of CCV issued a joint apology after initial findings concluded that there were "themes and repeated patterns of behavior including examples of manipulation, inappropriate comments, narcissistic behavior, and certain occurrences of public shaming and spiritual abuse". 

"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 apologize to all those who were hurt, harmed, mistreated or in any way negatively impacted by their time at Causeway Coast Vineyard," the statement said at the time. 

Scott has not commented publicly on the claims. 

In a statement at the weekend, CCV said that "as the review has progressed, it has become clear that there are very different and deeply held views", and that "sadly, Neil and Janet have indicated that they no longer fully support the statement released on July 2nd or the ongoing independent review process".

"They have also indicated that they can no longer submit to the spiritual and structural authority of Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland and the governance of the CCV Trustee Board," the statement continued.

"In light of this, their future as Senior Pastors of Causeway Coast Vineyard is untenable, and Neil and Janet have come to the sad conclusion that they need to resign."

CCV said that the Youngs do not have any subsequent plans at present but will take a few months "to refresh and recharge". 

It said it was "heartbroken" by the situation and will begin the search for their replacements together with Vineyard.

The church added that it was committed to the independent review process - which has concluded - "to ensure we properly acknowledge past wrongdoing and ensure that we are a safe, healthy and thriving church community going forward".

"There is much sadness in this moment as so much good has been done and so many lives have been changed. We have treasured the leadership of Neil & Janet," the statement concluded.

"They will be deeply missed, and we are thankful for their leadership of our church community for the last six and half years. It has not been easy leading through transition, all the challenges of Covid and lockdown, and the cost-of-living crisis.

"They set out a bold 100-year vision and it has been great to see that take shape. Today we thank them for their commitment and pray God's blessing for what comes next."