10 December - congregational meeting of Orwel & Portmoak to discuss the arrangements for the closure of Portmoak Church.
A joint meeting of all Kinross-shire Kirk Sessions was held on 30 November with Rev Allan Wilson and Rev Karen Fenwick present from the Planning and Deployment Committee, Presbytery of Perth. Here is a summary of the Draft Notes from the meeting: The aim of the meeting was to clarify the current situation in the light of the departure of Rev Lis Stenhouse from Cleish and Fossoway and to go into the New Year with a better understanding of the direction of travel. The Presbytery Mission Plan, in the short term, is for a Full Time Equivalent minister based at a united Fossoway and Cleish, with responsibilities across the Kinross-shire network, and similarly a FTE minister at Kinross united with Orwell & Portmoak, also with network responsibilities. Cleish and Fossoway need to form a union before they can set up a formal Nominating Committee to call a minister. The Nominating Committee must have representatives from all four parishes, as it will be a Team Ministry role with some responsibilities across the whole area. Although there were no formal decisions of the Kirk Sessions present, the general conclusion appeared to be to progress the current Presbytery Mission Plan as soon as possible, rather than alter it. This would be in accordance with the advice from the representatives of Presbytery. For Kinross Parish Church this would mean, in the short term, progressing union with Orwell & Portmoak and increasing cooperation and building relationships across the Kinross-shire network. All the Kirk Sessions acknowledged with gratitude the work of Rev Alan Reid and Rev Robert Calvert and recognised the real risk of ministers being overburdened. The Kirk Sessions welcomed the appointment of Rev Beverley Stevenson OLM, as Interim Moderator of Cleish and Fossoway.
Joint Vision Group Meeting Update (15 November) The Rev Beverley Stevenson (OLM) has been appointed interim moderator of Cleish & Fossoway and are seeking a locum minister. A Basis of Union has been drafted and is now with Presbytery. Local historian David Munro has shared with the Scottish Churches Trust an inventory of important artefacts held at Portmoak Church.
Permission has been granted to sell Arngask Church (Glenfarg) in accordance with the Kinross-shire Parish Grouping Proposal.
It has been announced that Rev Liz Stenhouse of Cleish and Fossoway has been called to the parishes of Aberlady and Gullane and will be inducted there later this month. We wish Lis well for this new stage of her ministry. Clarification is being sought from Presbytery regarding the impact of this announcement on the Presbytery Plan as it may be that now is the time to address the whole parish structure across Kinross-shire. A Joint Kirk Session Conference (Cleish, Fossoway, Kinross, Orwell & Portmoak) is planned for 22 February 2024.
Vision Group for Union: The Kirk Session recently agreed that our representatives on the Vision Group for talks with Orwell and Portmoak on union should be Brenda Fraser, Alice Getley, Alan McGhie, Stuart Neave and Jaffrey Weir. The aim is to unite by 31st December 2024.
Steering Group for Parish Grouping: The wider Steering Group for moves towards the Parish Grouping of all the Kinross-shire Church of Scotland Churches, together with Arngask (Glenfarg), consists of the Minister and Session Clerk of each congregation.
28 October - Steering Group Meeting.
The Kirk Sessions of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak have agreed that talks be progressed with the aim of uniting by 31 December 2024.
A joint Kirk Session Conference of the Kinross-shire Parish Grouping was held on Wednesday 14 June in Orwell Church. It was a stimulating discussion about how we set our priorities for working together in the years ahead. We were very deliberately talking not about how to reorganise church structures but about how we build relationships across the community and be available to God in growing the Kingdom. In that context we spoke about how we can exhibit humility, generosity, courage and authenticity in our life as disciples of Jesus. If we are not simply to continue to accept the decline that has characterised the church over the last half century the more we need to begin by looking to see where God is already at work without us in the wider community and listening for what God is saying to us through that. It was a small but significant journey in our shared life as local churches, but it will require every single one of us to be listening and sharing what we hear in the coming months and years and being prepared to go where the Holy Spirit may lead us.
The new Presbytery of Perth met and approved the amended Mission Plans for the old presbyteries of Perth, Dunkeld & Meigle. These will now go back to the Church of Scotland for approval. In Kinross-shire, the amended plan clarifies the route towards the end-point of a single Kinross-shire Parish with a team of two full-time equivalent ministers. This proposes an interim stage of Kinross uniting with Orwell & Portmoak and Arngask, and Cleish uniting with Fossoway. Our Session Clerk, Jaffrey Weir spoke on our behalf. He drew attention not only to our specific concern at the burden on a Kinross minister during the interim stage but of the more general impact on ministers of the proposed changed throughout the Presbytery. He also raised the need for congregations to be able to use funds from property sales more easily for mission and support purposes rather than being restricted to fabric and building improvements. Both these points struck a chord with others.
Joint Easter Sunday Service at the Loch
1 January 2023
Inaugural Kinross-shire Parish Grouping New Year Service hosted in Orwell Church
Each of the four congregations voted unanimously in favour of the proposal
Joint conference of the Kirk Sessions of Cleish, Fossoway, Kinross, Orwell & Portmoak met to discuss the 11-point proposal forming the Kinross-shire Parish Grouping. All four Kirk Sessions unanimously voted for the proposal.