26 May 2017, Berlin, Germany: Visiting the Saint Ansgar Church in Berlin, students of the Global Ecumenical Theologial Institute 2017 (GETI'17) were introduced to the community of Taizé, in France, sharing a moment of prayer.

From Aotearoa-New Zealand, Scott worked for the WCC as a communications officer as well as, in the late 1980s, a programme secretary for the area of overcoming racism.

His time at the WCC included the WCC 7th Assembly in Canberra and the WCC 8th Assembly in Harare.

His focus on Asia and the Pacific involved him deeply in the WCC's developing response to the Dalit Solidarity movement and the rights of Indigenous peoples, among many other struggles for self-determination and human rights.

His vision of the oikoumene was tackling challenges and issues together, across denominational and political boundaries” in equal and open collaboration.

WCC acting general secretary (during the vacation) Marianne Ejdersten reflected that the world has lost an important communicator for justice. The WCC family is mourning the loss of Rev. Bob Scott,” she said. His communication skills were coupled with a sense of determination to overcome racism on all levels.”

Scott also worked for the UN, along with other global organizations. He was often telling the stories of people's struggles for justice, and the international and ecumenical responses to them.

He also led inner-city ministries that grew into international justice efforts, and continually reiterated his belief that Christian ministry must have people and their pain, struggles, and needs at its core, rather than ecclesiastical rules, structures, and authorities.

In 1972, as chairman of the New Zealand Christian Student Movement, he went to South Africa at the invitation of the University Christian Movement. Although spiritually and intellectually opposed to Apartheid before he went, experiencing the brutal reality for Black people in South Africa and confronting the dynamics between oppressed and oppressor – including well-meaning white liberals – profoundly influenced his views of pervasive racism and the role of the church, particularly the international church.

He later had experience putting these convictions into practice both at home in New Zealand in setting up the National Council of Churches new Programme on Racism.

In essence, Bob was a communicator,” said Sara Speicher, WCC communication officer. He listened, observed, learned, and shared. He worked passionately to create spaces where others could—and can—do the same. He used his skills as a storyteller to create understanding, challenge injustice, and inspire others to act.”

The funeral will take place in Bishop Selwyn Chapel at the Holy trinity Cathedral on 15 August.


Rev. Bob Scott, March 1997.