How Presbytery Is Shaped
Remits of Committees
In the conduct of their business all committees will work in the spirit of the Presbytery’s agreed set of values. Committees are encouraged to share with each other, and with Presbytery as a whole, examples of good practice and stories of positive engagement between local expressions of church and, where appropriate, and with sensitivity, to publicise stories of positive engagement between local expressions of church and local communities.
Note that Standing Committees are expected to report in writing to each meeting of Presbytery.
- Arranges meetings of Presbytery, coordinates the work of Presbytery through its standing committees, allocates General Assembly remits to its standing committees and generally supports the smooth running of the business of Presbytery, all so as to ensure that Presbytery carries out its duties as a Court of the Church.
- The Business Committee appoints members of Presbytery to the Connections and Nominations Committee.
- The Business Committee appoints a number of members of Presbytery to be available to serve on Vacancy Procedure Committees. [Note: The Vacancy Procedure Act (Act VIII 2003, as amended], sets out the process for the appointment of Vacancy Procedure Committees and sets out their duties and responsibilities. There is therefore no requirement for a standing Vacancy Procedure Committee.]
- The Business Committee shall have responsibility for risk assessment, risk management and maintain a Risk Register on behalf of the Presbytery.
Property and Finance (Standing Committee)
Acting in connection with property matters the Committee has the following responsibilities:
- To undertake annually a due diligence examination of Property Registers and Manse Condition Schedules of church properties within the Presbytery bounds.
- To be the Committee through which the Presbytery Buildings Officer reports to Presbytery, and to set and oversee the operational direction of the work of the Presbytery Buildings officer on a day to day basis. [Note: Line management of the Presbytery Buildings Officer is exercised by the General Trustees.]
- To organise the Ten-yearly professional survey and interim surveys of all buildings within the Presbytery bounds in accordance with the remit provided by the General Trustees from time to time.
- To arrange the required inspection of manses in times of vacancy.
- To provide oversight and guidance with regard to all church properties within the Presbytery bounds, in particular ensuring that congregations obtain the necessary permissions, including the permission of Presbytery and the General Trustees as appropriate, before undertaking programmes of work.
- To advise and help process applications for grants and loans in relation to property work.
- To work with the Buildings Officer in advising on good practice and provide information on Health and Safety matters.
Acting in connection with finance matters the Committee has the following responsibilities:
- To work with the Presbytery Treasurer to administer Presbytery finances, including submitting the Annual Report and Accounts for Presbytery approval at the Presbytery’s April (TBC) meeting.
- To work with the Presbytery Treasurer to prepare the Presbytery Budget for the coming year at its end of year meeting.
- To process and make recommendations to Presbytery in regard to applications to all Presbytery Funds.
- To undertake the annual inspection of congregational accounts in accordance with the regulations of the General Assembly concerning congregational finance and the requirements of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
- To arrange for the completion of financial schedules in connection with vacancies.
- To liaise with congregations in relation to their Ministry and Mission allocations and to investigate any Ministry and Mission shortfalls.
- To provide the Presbytery Treasurer with such statistics as are necessary for calculating annual congregational assessments/dues, and to determine annual congregational assessments/dues.
- To inform and encourage congregations in all aspects of stewardship including the use of the materials provided by the Stewardship and Finance Department of the Church and the advice and assistance of the Church’s Stewardship Consultants.
Presbytery Planning and Deployment (Standing Committee)
- To promote a positive policy for the mission of Presbytery by taking account of changing congregational resources and social patterns as they relate to the Presbytery Mission Plan Act, 2021.
- To oversee the implementation and regular review of the Presbytery Plan.
- To oversee the deployment of Readers and Ordained Local Ministers.
- To approve locally funded Ministry appointments.
- To receive and consider all requests for adjustments to parish boundaries and to negotiate adjustments with Kirk Sessions.
Training and Development for Ministry and Mission (Standing Committee)
- To support faith formation and the Five Marks of Mission, promoting training and development opportunities and facilitating communities of learners across the Presbytery area.
- To promote and support work with children, youth and under-40s.
- To organise training events in regard to worship, mission and faith formation for all ages.
- To develop, promote and support a Presbytery ‘Local Worship Leaders’ scheme and maintain a list of Local Worship Leaders approved by such a scheme. (In the initial development of the scheme and the compiling of a list, such schemes as may already operate in the individual Presbyteries will be integrated so as to include worship leaders already authorised in the individual Presbyteries.)
- To support School Chaplains and local expressions of Church in resourcing the Church’s work in schools across Presbytery.
- To support chaplaincies appropriate to local needs.
- To do all of the above in partnership with others wherever possible.
Support of members of ministry teams
- To ensure appropriate oversight of all members of local ministry teams is in place, and to arrange a network of support for line managers and supervisors.
- To contribute to the ratification and any ongoing review process of the Job Descriptions of all members of local ministry teams.
- To oversee Ministers’ Log Books.
- To approve arrangements for in-service Training and study-leave.
Recognised Ministries of the Church of Scotland
- To oversee recruitment, selection and training for all Recognised Ministries in the Church of Scotland.
- To nominate as Candidates for Recognised Ministries those who have been accepted as Prospective Candidates by an Assessment Conference.
Congregational Support (Standing Committee)
- To act as the Superintendence Committee in terms of Act I 2011 Local Church Review and all other acts of General Assembly which assign duties to a Presbytery Superintendence Committee.
- To make all arrangements for Local Church Reviews, including scheme of visitation, team composition and training, ensuring consistent follow-up of action plans, in consultation with other relevant Committees.
- To encourage and support congregations in implementing Local Church Review action plans.
- To be the point of referral for issues of conflict in congregations.
- To organise the annual inspection of Congregational Records.
- To oversee data protection requirements for the Presbytery and congregations.
- To support and encourage Session Clerks, Treasurers, and other congregational office-bearers.
- To be the lead agency for Safeguarding in the Presbytery; ensuring that Kirk Sessions implement the Church’s Safeguarding Policy, and adhere to the Code of Good Practice; recruiting and supporting Presbytery Safeguarding trainers and coordinators; providing training and support for Safeguarding in local expressions of church.
- To encourage prayer for each other.
Church, Society, International (Standing Committee)
- To provide a forum for matters raised by the Church of Scotland’s Faith Impact Forum, ‘Society, Religion and Technology Project’ (SRT Project), Social Care (known as CrossReach) or their equivalents.
- To facilitate Presbytery engagement with and comment on local, national, international, political and social issues where appropriate, guided by the Five Marks of Mission.
- To encourage and promote the work of CrossReach, Christian Aid, and Eco-Congregation Scotland, Fairtrade.
- To provide support for international partnerships between local expressions of church in Presbytery and those overseas, keeping Presbytery informed of partnership developments.
- To support the work of ecumenical bodies locally and nationally, promoting local inter-church initiatives and activities.
- To support interfaith work, promoting the work of Interfaith Scotland and local initiatives and activities.
- To foster links with social responsibility agencies regionally.
- To seek the transformation of unjust structures locally, regionally and worldwide.
- To work with the Property and Finance Committee and any other relevant committees in responding to the challenge of climate change and the development of church buildings.
- To nurture prayer for all aspects of mission and outreach locally and further afield.
Connections and Nominations
- To build connections and relationships across Presbytery through activities which encourage good communications and foster friendship and collegiate working, having always in mind Presbyteries agreed values.
- To bring forward to Presbytery names for appointment to committees and Presbytery positions, including but not limited to, the Moderator of Presbytery and the Conveners of committees.
- To deal with membership of Presbytery and the annual registration of ministry including nominating balancing and additional elders, corresponding members and administering annual review of ministries registration categories in accordance with General Assembly legislation.
- To encourage and promote prayer, and opportunities for prayer, for and within the Presbytery and among its members.
- To act as the Presbytery’s Complaints Committee.
- To deal with matters arising under the Church’s discipline legislation.