OLD Kilpatrick’s parish minister has announced his resignation as he reveals his struggles with work-related stress and depression.

Rev Scott McCrum has been signed off work since last November but last week announced he would be formally ending his time as minister for Old Kilpatrick Bowling Parish Church as of October 31.

The 40-year-old was emphatic that his decision to leave had nothing to do with the congregations, nor were there any complaints about how he performed his duties at the church.

But the dispute over the sale of The Glebe land behind the manse – which started before Mr McCrum arrived – and the minister’s side jobs and penchant for fast cars rubbed some the wrong way.

The Church of Scotland said they had not yet received a formal notice to demit.

Once Mr McCrum leaves Old Kilpatrick, he will be living out of his Land Rover Defender.

Speaking in a video posted to YouTube filmed inside the vehicle, Mr McCrum said he had a “disposition towards depression” but had never previously been off work with depression or stress before becoming a minister.


Rev Scott McCrum has been at Old Kilpatrick Bowling Parish Church since April 2018

Rev Scott McCrum has been at Old Kilpatrick Bowling Parish Church since April 2018


He said: “I’m going to demit my charge on October 31, which basically means quitting my job here.

“The downside of being a minister and quitting your job is it doesn’t only mean that you lose your income but also makes you homeless.”

Mr McCrum – who was the first man in Scotland to have FUE (follicular unit extraction) hair transplant surgery in 2012 – said he had moved 14 times, with his father as a now retired minister and a naval chaplain.

“I really hoped that I would be able to to stay here for a while,” he continued.

“I just really want to say right now that demitting the charge has absolutely nothing to do with the people of the church.

“And it has nothing to do with anyone complaining about the way I take a Sunday service, the way I’ve taken a funeral, the way I’ve taken a baptism, the way I’ve done a funeral [or] a wedding, and nothing to do with the way I’ve given pastoral care to anyone.

“Nothing to do with visiting people in hospital or at home - nothing really to do with the real job of a minister, which is kind of frustrating and sad.”

'Old Kilpatrick is a great charge'

A former X-Factor hopeful and professional DJ, Mr McCrum has sold cars and run an audio visual company.

Old Kilpatrick had been without a minister for seven years before he was appointed.

The minister had aimed to make the church financially stable so he wouldn’t have to draw a salary at all, particularly by moving into the property market.

Just weeks before the pandemic hit, he told the Post: “As a church, we should be in a position where we can give money away. The church should service communities in every way it can and, if not, it should find a way.”

He had aimed to raise £1.5million towards a new church hall for the community before the country was forced to stay at home.

While he acknowledged not everyone will always like how a minister does things, Mr McCrum said “95 per cent” of the church elders had been behind him. He said: “Old Kilpatrick is a great charge – things were going really well, heading in a good direction.

“Demitting the charge is not a reflection at all on the church.

'Small minority'

“There’s always going to be a small minority who don’t like you or don’t really support you or think they know better than you do. But that’s the situation in every church.

“So there’s nothing that’s happened here with people in the church that has in any way had a profoundly negative effect on me, on my health or on my mental health.”

Mr McCrum, who has three dogs, said he was not going to another Church of Scotland congregation and doesn’t “really know what he’s going to do next”, but that he might “travel around a bit and do some soul searching”.

He is having knee surgery next month and an “irregular heart beat” was picked up by doctors which requires further examination.

“I’m not looking for sympathy,” he said. “I’m just being honest. But if you’ve been through what I’ve been through in the last two and a half years, that would probably make you a bit crazy.”

'No such thing as a part-time charge'

The outgoing minister said he had been surviving on a part-time stipend and paying utility bills of £500 a month on the large manse for more than two years.

Rev McCrum said: “I don’t think there is no such thing as a part-time charge - you just have the same responsibilities and I don’t actually think really there’s any thought going into what the situation would be for part-time ministers.”

He mentioned the “institution and the way I’ve been treated by it” but did not go into great detail.

“I fully anticipate being threatened and some friendly minister giving me advice about how what’s good for me to do and what’s not good for me to do because that’s the way that the church operates,” he said.

Mr McCrum expressed gratitude for the support he has received from Old Kilpatrick, from his previous church in Glenrothes, from Forfar where he grew up, and Ayrshire where he did much of his DJ-ing.

A Church of Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of the recent videos featuring Rev Scott McCrum but have not had any formal intimation of his intention to demit and as such cannot make any further comment.”