Structure and Leadership

CRAIGSBANK CHURCH

Structure and Leadership

 

Our congregation changed on 1 January 2014 from The Model Constitution (the Kirk Session
dealing with spiritual matters & Congregational Board dealing with property and financial matters)

to the Unitary Constitution, with all responsibility falling under the Kirk Session. This means a
number of Teams are under the authority of the Kirk Session, but are given responsibilities and
freedom to move forward with action in their own area. 

The Kirk Session

The Kirk Session is essentially made up of all the Elders and is the leadership team of the congregation responsible for all areas of church life.  Although it is perhaps more relaxed in its format it remains a
Court of the church.  It is an open meeting and is often attended by some of the District visitors and
open to any member of the congregation to attend if they would like to do so.  Non-elders may
participate in discussion but have no voting rights.  Only on occasions of any ‘Private’ business would
all apart from the elders be asked to leave.

 

Elders

Names of new elders are agreed by the Kirk Session and although Ordained for life obviously retire
from active duty when they feel the time is right.  Most elders have a District which they visit, while
some are ordained and participate because of their particular gifts but may not have district visiting responsibilities. They are our Spiritual leaders who along with the minister (often traditionally referred
to as the ‘teaching elder’) discern and decide our direction, structure, times and forms of worship. 
Under the current Charities legislation they act as the Trustees for the congregation.

 

District Visitors

Although Pastoral Care of the congregation remains the responsibility of the Session it is undertaken
on its behalf by some elders and some District Visitors along with the minister.  They are invited
and appointed by the Session in recognition of their pastoral gifts but who may not feel called
to ordination. Some have become elders. They are welcome to attend Session meetings although
there is no expectation to do so, but are encouraged when there is a meeting or day conference
focussing on an issue of Pastoral Care, for example, which would be helpful for them in their role.

 

Pastoral Visitors

The Congregation is divided into Districts for ease of visitation which an Elder or Visitor visits three
times each year delivering the magazine and to ask how people are and share any news.  Some
members are happy with that amount of regular contact while others, who are perhaps a little more housebound, would appreciate a more regular visit for friendship and support.  It is for this reason
we have Pastoral Visitors who, in agreement with the member might drop in once a month or more
for a chat.  This is a much appreciated development of our Pastoral Care and which is steadily
increasing.  If you are interested in receiving such a visit, know someone who might appreciate it,
or feel you might like to visit someone then please have a word with Elaine Thompson.  Elaine
became our Pastoral Co-Ordinator a number of years ago and is now supported by our Pastoral
Care Team (see Teams). 

 

Administration

We have two clerks to the Kirk Session, Elaine Thompson and Margaret Adair, who share the
responsibility of organising and taking minutes of the meetings and all the other communication
which goes along with it: correspondence from Presbytery and The General Assembly as well
as sharing information between elders and teams. The clerks deal with much of the administrative
business of the Session in conjunction with the minister who is the Moderator (a grand word for
Chairman) of the meetings.

 

Some of our other administration is dealt with by Margot Brown who acts as our volunteer church
secretary.  She deals with a lot of paperwork as well as photocopying Orders of Service each week,
The Bulletin, making up rotas and leases for letting the halls. Margot also acts as our Roll Keeper
keeping this up to date and sharing information about such things as changes of address, new
members, and those who have died.

 

 

 


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