News from The Presbytery of Perth 2023
Updated 23 November
NEW: Perth Charity Christmas Cards: Presbytery has drawn our attention to the charity Christmas card sale at A K Bell Library, York Place, Perth where 100% of the money goes to the dozen charities represented. The sale runs until 9th December.
NEW: Support for Kinross Parish Church: The Presbytery recently agreed to support our church in its application to the national Seeds for Growth fund of the Church of Scotland for a KYTHE youth minister.
NEW: Presbytery Website Updated: the Presbytery website has been improved due to the excellent work of the Presbytery's Communications Officer, Ruth Rankin. You can find it here:
Updated 17 November
A Summary of the Meeting of the Presbytery of Perth on 7th November: Confessions of Faith: Presbytery overwhelmingly agreed to a proposal from the General Assembly to enlarge our single Westminster Confession to a Book of Confessions. This will include the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, as 'containing the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith'. The Westminster Confession will continue to be included and the Scots Confession and the General Assembly's Statement of Faith of 1992 will also be added, so that 'the Reformed character of the Church of Scotland will be maintained'. Rev Austin Wicks came to us from the Presbyterian Church (USA) which uses a similar Book of Confessions, including the Scots Confession written primarily by John Knox. Because of the importance of this change, the proposal is progressing through the unusual 'double Barrier Act' procedure. It has to be approved by a majority of Presbyteries and a majority of Presbyters before it can be confirmed by the General Assembly. If the Assembly introduces any changes it has to be re- approved by Presbyteries and Presbyters.
Mission: Rev. Beverly Stephenson has been appointed as Mission Project Co-ordinator for the Stirling area. Presbytery disbursed £35,000 in grants in 2023 to mission projects and has set aside £50,000 for 2024. Presbytery supported four congregations which have applied for national 'Seeds for Growth' funding, including the application by Kinross Parish Church for a KYTHE youth minister.
Unions: Presbytery approved several unions in accordance with the Presbytery Mission Plan. One is a union between four congregations in Dundee to form a team ministry – all the church buildings are to be sold and the new congregation will use existing community facilities instead.
Rev. Lis Stenhouse: Presbytery noted that Lis had been elected minister to Gullane and Aberlady in East Lothian and thanked her for her Ministry at our neighbours of Cleish linked with Fossoway and for her recent additional service as Interim Moderator at Abernethy, Dron and Arngask.
Arngask (Glenfarg): Permission has been granted to sell this church, in accordance with the Kinross-shire Parish Grouping proposal.
Job Opportunity: Perth North Church are recruiting a part-time secretary/office coordinator – 3 hours each Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. Closing date is Thursday, 30th November. Details: 2023 PNC Advertisement for Secretary and Office Co-ordinator.docx
Updated 10 November
NEW: Mission Action Training - RESCHEDULED. Because of cancellation during recent bad weather, the Leading Worship course has been postponed to next year on Saturdays 10th and 24 February and 9 March. The one-day course on Eldership Now is still being held on 25 November. These courses are held in Perth. If interested contact Alex Rae: email@example.com
NEW: Scottish Interfaith Week: There will be an Interfaith Service at Stirling: Viewfield Church on Sunday, 19 November at 11am. Details: Interfaith Event Poster.
NEW: Ordained Local Ministers: Brenda and Cathy, two of the Presbytery's ordained local ministers, based in Dundee, explain a little about OLM ministry in this three-minute video: OLM Video
NEW: Social Care Sunday: Sunday, 19th November where we think particularly of the work of Crossreach, the social care arm of the Church of Scotland.
NEW: Prisoners' Week: This starts on Sunday, 19th November, and this year the National Launch is in the Presbytery of Perth at Perth: Letham St. Mark's on Sunday 19th, 3pm - 5pm with the service starting at 3.30pm. There are five prisons in Perth Presbytery, and this is an opportunity to remind folk of these prisoners, those who help them and to respond to Jesus's words 'I was in prison, and you visited me'
Updated 27 October
Minister Shortage: Recent training for elders representing congregations on presbytery helped explain the current need for amalgamations of congregations and closures of buildings based on the shortage of ministers alone. In the Presbytery of Perth:
Number of Congregations: 157
Number of Charges: 113
Number of Ministers in Charges: 77
Mission Plan Online: The Mission Plans for the new Presbytery of Perth have now been published on the presbytery website. You can find them here. The relevant section for this area is in Perth, pp. 9&10
Updated 6 October
Presbytery Buildings Officer: The new larger presbyteries were designed to be large enough to appoint some professional staff to support and advise congregations, many of which were struggling with finding the expertise within their membership for the increasing tasks expected today in terms of charity regulation, building maintenance, safeguarding, modern media etc. Congregations should then be able concentrate more on what they can do best and know best: mission in their own area.
The presbytery has now completed its staff complement with the appointment of a Buildings Officer: Mr Jamie McNamara. Jamie is presently the Presbytery Buildings Officer for Clyde Presbytery. He comes with a wealth of experience in the building industry and is a conservation surveyor and heritage specialist. He will commence work on 1st November 2023.
The other posts are Presbytery Clerk, Administrator, Congregational Support and Communications. This link gives their Job Descriptions and contact details:
JOB DESCRIPTIONS OF STAFF.pdf
Updated 29 September
New Roles: The Presbytery will be meeting soon to welcome two people who have committed to significant, but unpaid, roles within the Presbytery: Iain Armstrong as an ‘Ordained Local Minister’ and Keith Redwood as a Reader. Ordained Local Ministers, such as our own Revd. Margaret Michie, are ‘unpaid part-time ministers of Word and Sacrement’, usually working with parish ministers. Readers play a similar supporting role but are not fully-qualified Ministers.
Mission Action Training: The Presbytery is providing training courses to allow members to take on roles with greater confidence. These will be run in Perth, on Saturdays 10am to 4pm:
14 October: Pastoral and Bereavement Care
21 October: Leading Worship 1 – Bible, prayer, speaking in church
4 November: Leading Worship 2 – Music, service preparation
18 November: leading Worship 3 – Delivery of services and appraisal 25th November: Eldership
If you are interested contact Alex Rae: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 22 September
Church Union: The Mission Plan for the Presbytery continues to be implemented with a 'Service of Union' parish of Monikie & Newbigging and Murroes & Tealing, itself the union of four original parishes.
Instagram: Presbytery has started an Instagram page. Please give them a follow. Ruth Rankin, the presbytery’s communications officer, says: "We aim to share pictures and stories from across the presbytery on this forum (we will still be using the Presbytery of Perth Facebook page for wider news). Over the next few months, we will be doing features on parishes across the presbytery with 30 second videos where ministers introduce their parish. - https://www.instagram.com/presbytery_of_perth
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: The Moderator of the Presbytery, Rev Donna Hays, is intending to lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, 23 September-1 October 2024. She says: "This amazing opportunity is open to those from churches across our presbytery. For more information contact me on 01382 580210 or email DHays@churchofscotland.org.uk"
Being an Intergenerational Church: Presbytery has passed us details of this event in Dunfermline East Church on Saturday, 30th September 10.30am-3pm to go with the launch of a book by St Andrews Press of the same name. The authors say: "The event will seek to equip and inspire you, no matter where you are on the journey to being an intergenerational church." Free to attend but registration required - booking closes Tue 26 Sept. Light refreshments provided but bring your own lunch. Doors open at 10am. Under 18s to be accompanied by an adult.
Updated 5 September
Here are the video links from the meeting of The Presbytery of Perth held on 2 September. Click on the titles and check them out when you have a moment.
Updated 21 July 2023
The Presbytery is 'delighted to announce that Ruth Rankin will be our new Communications Officer.' Ruth is expected to be in post by 1 September.
Job Opportunity: Building Officer for Presbytery of Perth Part of the reason for the new enlarged presbyteries was to give them the scale to employ specialists to assist congregations.
The General Trustees are now seeking to appoint a Building Officer to support the Presbytery of Perth to assess, record and monitor its buildings and help congregations plan their fabric
repairs and improvements. The closing date for applications is 4 August.
The successful candidate will be RIAS, RICS, RIBA or CIOB (or equivalent body) qualified (chartered) with at least 3 years post qualification experience within a large and complex
organisation. Further details: Buildings Officer - Perth | The Church of Scotland.
Updated 14 July 2023
Celebrating Calling: The People and Training Team of the Church of Scotland is delighted to announce a 'Celebrating Calling' event. Taking place on Saturday 26 August, at St John's Church in Hamilton, it's aimed at those who are considering a call to serve - whether that be a first 'nudging' or a strong sensing. Further information: 'Celebrating Calling' event to take place in August | The Church of Scotland
Remembering Srebrenica 2023: Together We Are One:
The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Rev Sally Foster-Fulton writes: "The theme for my year as Moderator centres on a South African word, Ubuntu, most closely translated 'I am because you are.' In July 1995, 8,372 Bosnian men and boys were tragically killed by Serb forces in the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia, and, to our shame, the rest of the world stood by and did not intervene. In 2015, I went to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the charity Remembering Srebrenica Scotland. It was one of the most harrowing, inspiring and transformational experiences of my life. It taught me that 'living alongside' each other is not good enough, but we must be willing to 'live with' each other, be part of each other - to embrace our differences, not let them define us. I invite congregations to remember Srebrenica over the next two weekends, to pray, to learn and to remember, 'I am because you are.'" www.srebrenica.scot
Updated 30 June 2023
Independent Examiners and Auditors: The Presbytery Treasurer, Rhona Nicol, is trying to create a pool of independent examiners and auditors at presbytery level for the 2023 accounts. If you are able to assist, please contact her at: email@example.com
Fair Pay for Social Work: The Presbytery of Perth has passed on a letter from the Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt Revd. Sally Foster Fulton, drawing our attention to the campaign by the Church of Scotland, CrossReach and others for fair pay for Social Work. She says: “The current pay level is causing a crisis both in recruitment and retention, making the vulnerable most at risk. I ask you to consider adding your signature to this important campaign”. Click the link to sign: crossreach.org.uk/scottish-faith-leaders-declaration
Updated : 16 June 2023
The Presbytery of Perth has produced an 11-minute video to introduce the Presbytery staff and to say a little about the new Presbytery.
The video can be found here: (141) Presbytery Staff video - 2 June 2023 - YouTube
Updated 6 May 2023 IMPORTANT NEWS
The new Presbytery of Perth met this week and approved amended Mission Plans for the old presbyteries of Perth, and 'Dunkeld and 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 and Portmoak' and Arngask (Glenfarg), 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 at the interim stage but of the more general impact on ministers of the proposed changes 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.
Updated 26 March 2023
Presbytery Office: The office of the new enlarged Presbytery of Perth is now in operation at Suite F3, Riverview House, Friarton Road, Perth, PH2 8DF (firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: (new number) 07596 868064)
Presbytery Online: The website of the new Presbytery was launched this week: www.perthpresbytery.org.uk. The Presbytery is also on Facebook under Presbytery of Perth.
Presbytery Mission Plan: The new Presbytery is having an in-person meeting on 2 May to approve a revised Mission Plan for our area (the old Presbytery of Perth). The original plan for the future of churches and ministries in our area, produced in late 2022, was not approved by the Church of Scotland nationally.
Budget: The new enlarged Presbytery of Perth met on line earlier this month to set its budget for 2023, including staffing costs and the Presbytery Dues from each congregation.
Moving Forward: With the Presbytery Mission Plans for the previous Angus and Dundee Presbyteries now approved, the new Presbytery of Perth was able to approve the initial stages of appointing a new minister at 'Brechin and Farnell' and the upgrading of Dowanfield Church, Dundee. The filling of vacant posts and major improvement works have been on hold throughout Scotland until Presbytery Mission Plans have been approved.
Local Mission Plan: The Plan for the old Presbytery of Perth, which includes Kinross-shire, has still to be approved but progress has been made in discussions with the General Trustees and others and it is hoped to bring a revised plan forward to the next Presbytery meeting on Saturday, 4th March.
New Presbytery Launched: The first meeting of the new Presbytery of Perth was held on Zoom on Tuesday, 10th January, with 264 participants - reflecting the large geographic spread from Stirling-shire to Angus. Five of our congregation took part.
The new Presbytery appointed Rev Donna Hays as Moderator, Rev Dr John Ferguson as Clerk, Rhona Nicol as Treasurer and Edward Morton as Administrator. The first steps were to appoint a professional Buildings Officer to support congregations in looking after their buildings. The national church will pay 50% of this salary for three years.
The next main meeting will be an 'in person' gathering on Saturday, 4th March with plenty of opportunity out with the business session to meet up over lunch, to hear a key-note speaker and to worship together.
Presbytery Mission Plan: The Mission Plan proposals for the future of the various Churches in the old Perth Presbytery were approved by the Presbytery in November but have NOT been accepted by the General Trustees and 'Faith and Nurture' which have referred them back to the new enlarged Presbytery to reconsider. Revd. Allan Wilson of Dunbarney and Forgandenny, who led the team which drew up the Mission Plan after visiting every congregation, says: " It seems there are questions about the retention of some of the chosen buildings and the long-term sustainability of some congregations. I'm afraid that this also means more uncertainty".