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The government of the Church of Scotland is that of a hierarchical court structure with a history stretching back for several centuries.
Each court of the Church has committees, which may include other members of the Church. The highest court is the General Assembly. The Church of Scotland councils and committee web pages will provide you with much more detailed information about the work of its committees.
Below the General Assembly are the Presbyteries. You can find out more about the work of Edinburgh Presbytery here.
At the local level of our own parish church, the court is known as the Kirk Session and this body, which is made up of elders and chaired or "moderated" by the parish minister, is concerned with spiritual matters affecting the congregation and parish.
As well as the Kirk Session a parish church may have a Congregational Board, responsible primarily for finance and property matters. The Congregational Board comprises members of Session as well as members elected by the Congregation at their annual meeting. Greenbank Parish Church has a Congregational Board.
All members of the Kirk Session and Congregational Board are Trustees for the purposes of recent Charities legislation.
The Moderator of the Kirk Session is the Minster, the Rev Dr Martin Ritchie. The Session Clerk is Mrs Valerie Macniven.
Minister – Rev Dr Martin Ritchie Session Clerk – Mrs Valerie Macniven
In Greenbank Parish Church we have several Kirk Session committees -
Adult Education Committee – to consult with and help the Minister in developing a programme of Christian Education for adults in the congregation.
Communications Committee – to keep under review, to initiate and to implement means of communication and publicity (in the widest sense), both within the congregation and to the parish and neighbourhood.
Communion Elements Committee – to make all necessary arrangements for the provision, distribution and clearing of elements at the Communion services.
Eco Team – to help Greenbank (which is a registered Eco-Congregation) to care for God’s creation by:
► making the link between environmental issues and the Christian faith
► taking practical action in the church and in the home to reduce our environmental impact
► influencing attitudes and taking action on climate change.
Mission and Service Committee – to keep under review, and to propose, ways in which we as a congregation can maintain and develop the commitment and involvement of our members and non-members in the life of the church and can engage in outreach to our parish.
Moderator's Committee – to consult with and assist the Minister on any matters of general or urgent importance and to take action as necessary and to report back as soon as practicable to the Kirk Session.
Nominations Committee – to operate the Kirk Session committee system and to report to Greenbank Kirk Session so that committees can be constituted from 1st April each year and to maintain records to enable it to deal quickly with any vacancy which may arise on a committee.
Roll Revision Committee – to work with the Minister in maintaining the Communion Roll of the congregation.
Social Committee – to develop opportunities for, and participation in, social activities which would:
► promote a sense of belonging and Christian fellowship within the congregation and the Kirk Session
► encourage a view of Greenbank in the local community and encourage interaction between
the congregation and local community
► promote a sense of solidarity and Christian fellowship with other local Christian churches..
World Mission Committee – To keep under review in the congregation the issues of World Mission.
Youth Education Committee – to offer leadership and have an active part in the Ministry of Youth; consider ways of integrating children and young people into the life and worship of the church; to support the work of the Christian Education organisations.
The Congregational Board of Greenbank Parish Church has around 30 members, comprising a mix of members of the congregation, nominated and elected by the congregation at the Annual Business Meeting, and elders, nominated by the Kirk Session.
The Finance Committee reports to the Board through the Treasurer, and the Property Committee reports to the Board through the Property Convener.
The Board, which meets around five times a year, is chaired by a Preses (Presiding Officer).
In addition to supporting the Board, the Clerk is responsible for organising the rota of Welcome Team members who are on duty at church services.
Currently the main office holders of the Board are
Preses – Roderick Morrison Clerk – Alan Ramage
Property Convener – David Allan Treasurer – John Ritchie