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Kirk Session Responsibilities

Juniper Green Church members, on the recommendation of the Kirk Session, agreed in 2009 to adopt the relatively new Unitary Constitution for the management of Church affairs. Subsequent to approvals by the Presbytery of Edinburgh and a Delegation of Assembly, the Kirk Session is now responsible for all Church matters - spiritual and temporal.

The Session is made up of a moderator, our Minister Rev James S Dewar and twenty four ruling elders. The Session meets together at least eight times per annum and, as with all courts of the Church, congregational observers may attend except when personal or confidential matters are being discussed.

Session duties include:

  • Care of God’s people is a prime responsibility of the Kirk Session. Pastoral Care Teams, comprising elders and non-elders, maintain regular contact with all members and adherents. However, pastoral care takes many forms such as visits, phone calls, magazine drops and flower deliveries and involves lots of people in addition to the Pastoral Care Teams.
  • Keeping of the Communion Roll, revising the Roll, issuing Certificates of Transference, maintaining the Supplementary Roll.
  • Admission to Communion by Profession, by Certificate of Transference or by Resolution of the Kirk Session.
  • Discipline is not a function often exercised but is a Session responsibility.
  • Administration of a Benevolent Fund.
  • Calling of any essential Congregational meetings.
  • Deciding the hours of public worship but not its conduct.
  • Assisting the minister in the distribution of the bread and wine at Communion services. But, the minister can be assisted in these tasks by non-elders.
  • Appointment and supervision of Church employees such as the Organist and others in voluntary duties such as the Beadles.
  • Oversight of congregational organisations especially the Sunday School – now often called by other names such as Kid’s Church.
  • Some duties associated with a vacancy such as preparing an Electoral Roll, preparing a Call to the minister chosen by the Vacancy Committee, liaising with Presbytery, etc.
  • Appointing a representative Elder to the local Presbytery.
  • Nominating Elders for consideration as Commissioners to the General Assembly.
  • Appointment of, and support for, a Children and Young People’s Safeguarding Co-ordinator plus ensuring that Safeguarding recommendations are followed by all Church organisations .
  • Management of Church finances, ensuring good stewardship and compliance with the requirements of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator - OSCR.
  • Attending to all matters sent down for comment by Assemblies and Presbyteries.
  • Plus many, many other things……………………

Charles R Godon, Session Clerk