Kirk Session Minutes - most recent

Tuesday 22 November 2017

The Kirk Session met at Craigsbank Church.  The Moderator welcomed everyone, constituting the meeting with prayer.  Attendance: The attendance was recorded in the Sederunt book.  Present were the Minister Rev Stewart McPherson, 19 Elders, 3 District Visitors and 1 member of the congregation.  Apologies were received from Lesley Lawrie (Children & Families Worker), 8 Elders and 4 District Visitors.

The minutes of the last Kirk Session meeting held on 19 September 2017, having been previously circulated, were approved.

1.0 Kirk Session Conversation
Stewart McPherson gave a short presentation on how the attendance at church has declined over the last fifty years.  It included statistics that show that 92.8% of Scots never go near a church. There has been a sharp decline in the number of ministers and volunteers, as well as money received from offerings.  This means that the national church cannot be resourced as it has been in the past.  The Session split into five groups and discussed whether the present way we run our church is the most efficient and whether changes can be made.  Following discussion it was decided that all the teams were necessary.  It was felt that the Adult Education and Worship teams could be amalgamated although both teams have already worked together in the past.  Stewart McPherson will collate and circulate the feedback received from the groups and report any findings to the next Session meeting.


2.0 Matters Arising: 
2.1 Sound System: 
A request was made to have a portable sound system so that guest speakers can be clearly heard.  This system could be used in January when worship at Craigsbank takes place in the hall.  Following discussion it was agreed that Ian Adair is to measure the space and get a second quote for a system which would be suitable for use in both halls.  This quote is to be circulated for approval to the Session.  
2.2 Church Court Acts Questionnaire:
Stewart McPherson thanked all those who responded to the questionnaire.  All comments were included in the response.  
2.3 Nominations for the Graham Little Medal: 
No nominations were received. 
2.4 Doors Open Day 2017: John Baker thanked all the volunteers for their help.  236 people were recorded as having attended.  The CARTA committee of the Church of Scotland will meet on Thursday 30 November in the Sanctuary at Craigsbank.  The composer and the cellist who performed the original piece of music on Doors Open Day will also be present at the meeting.  2.5 Care Van:  The care van team will receive £1,250 which is half the money from the Police Choir concert, money from the jars of grace and gift aid.  Thanks were given to the care van team for all that they do and the team was advised to return to the Session when further funds were required.  The congregation should also be asked to donate specific items when they are required.  The care van is now adequately resourced for this year and the money from the retiring collections over Christmas will go to Mary’s Meals, an Argyll based charity, as every donation made will be doubled until December 2017.


3.0  Kirk Session
3.1  Worship: 3.1.1  The dates of Christmas services have/have been circulated.  There will be a joint service following the Christian Aid breakfast at Craigsbank on 10 December.  There will be a morning service at East Craigs on Christmas Eve and the Christingle and Watchnight services will be at Craigsbank.  There will be no service on Christmas Day.  A joint service will be held at Craigsbank on Hogmanay.  On 3 December Rev Marjory McPherson will conduct worship at both centres while the minister  oversees the election of Sole Nominee at Fairmilehead.
Worship will take place in the hall during January at Craigsbank and the property team will ask for help to bring various items from the Sanctuary through to the hall.
3.1.3 Anna Robertson intends to offer mulled wine before the Watchnight service however she is also on door duty.  Please contact Anna if you can do her door duty. 
3.2 Pastoral Care:  Marion Cockburn updated the Session on the pastoral visits being undertaken by church visitors.  She reminded the Session that if anyone in their district would like a church visitor, to contact a member of the pastoral care team. 
3.3 Attestation of Church Records:  A reminder was given to those who submit their records for attestation that this will be required to be done in time for the next Kirk Session meeting in February. 
3.4 Nomination Committee:  An email was circulated giving information on how to take part in the various Church of Scotland councils and committees and enquiring if anyone is interested in serving the National Church in this way. 
3.5 Year of Young People:  2018 is the year of young people and the church asks that Kirk Sessions pledge to be involved. Further information on how to become involved has been requested.  
3.6 Study Leave:  The Kirk Session agreed to Stewart’s request for study leave to undertake the course Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life.  It involves a daily discipline of reflection and a weekly conversation with a spiritual Guide based at the Ignatian Spirituality Centre in Glasgow over a 30-week period.


4.0 Presbytery News:  Anna Robertson had previously circulated her report from the meeting in November.  The Moderator thanked Anna.

5.0 Teams 
5.1 Finance: 
Alan Kennedy said that draft accounts to 30 September had been circulated and only one presentational comment was received.  The Skipton bond that matured in November has now been reinvested but only for a period of one year as intimated at the last meeting.  The accounts were circulated to the Session showing the projected outcome against budget for 2017 as well as a proposed budget for 2018 that had been agreed by the Finance Team.  The treasurer commented on certain aspects focusing on those described in the text under the bar charts.  He added that the musician’s salary will not change in January 2018 as the increase in 2017 covered a two-year period.  The salaries for the cleaners will be updated in April 2018 in line with the Scottish living wage and in line with our agreed policy.  There were no questions and Alan Kennedy asked the Session to approve the budget for 2018 which it duly did.  The Session was informed that Craigsbank is to receive a bequest from the estate of the late Derick Fisher.  It will be 50% of the residual estate but the amount has yet to be ascertained.  Alan confirmed that Lesley Fraser’s contract had now been issued by Edinburgh Presbytery. 5.2 Communication: The Christmas leaflet is ready for distribution round the parish./parish.  A wooden star is to be given out at the Christmas services, one per family.  The Session approved the cost of £120.  
5.3 Adult Education:  The team has begun to organise the programme of events that will take place on the first Sunday of the month in 2018.  
5.4 Joint Finance & Property
    5.4.1 A report was circulated prior to the meeting which gave information on the proposed increase of rent paid by the After School Clubs at both centres.  The Session approved an increase of 2.5% (in line with inflation) from August 2018. 
     5.4.2 The Kirk Session approved a request from the property team for a new fire alarm.  This is an urgent health and safety matter as the current alarm is not cutting off the gas supply.  The cost is £1,388 + VAT.


6.0 Roll
There have been four deaths since the last meeting:  John Cameron – September 2017, Jim Beveridge – 25.10.17, David Wilkie – 14.11.17 and Margaret Shaw – November 2017.  The roll now stands at 420. This figure includes the 17 people who have asked to have their names removed from the roll.  
6.2 Data Protection Letters:  Following the audit of information kept by the church on their members, Margot Brown reported that 17 people asked for their names to be removed from the Congregational Roll and one person requested their Certificate of Transference be sent.  This information to be held in a “Record Apart” and not for general publication.  This was approved by the Session.


7.0  Safeguarding:  There was no new information to share with the Session.

8.0  Correspondence: There was no correspondence.

9.0  AOCB  
9.1  Defibrillator:  
The defibrillators available now have improved since the subject was last examined by the Session.  This item will be put on the agenda of the next meeting.

Date of next meeting: Tuesday 20 February 2018 at Craigsbank at 7.30pm.


Thanks were given by the Moderator to everyone for all that they do. The meeting was closed with the saying of the grace together.

These minutes have been signed by the moderator and session clerks and you can see signed copies on the noticeboards at each centre.

If you have any questions about topics in the minutes please contact the minister or session clerks or your elder/district visitor.



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