Kinross-shire Parish Grouping

27 Jun 2024

Updated 27 June

Highlights of 19 June 2024 Meeting

1. Congregational voting will be taking place in the coming months on the union of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak and only those who are listed as members on the roll can vote. Adherents are not entitled to vote so would need to become members. You are encouraged to be part of this process, so if you are not sure whether you are on the member roll, please check with your Church Office.

2. Steering Group meeting 2 July 2024 of the Ministers and Session Clerks of Cleish, Fossoway, Orwell & Portmoak and Kinross, looking to Presbytery to clarify how best to progress the unions.

3. Governance: special meetings of Kirk Sessions to be arranged in second half of July to discuss a structure of eldership and trusteeship proposed by the Vision Group that ensures strong


4. Church magazine: a proposal to be presented to both September Kirk Sessions for a joint quarterly church magazine circulated to church members, with additional copies as a community outreach tool.

5. Next Vision Group meeting: 17 July 2024.

6. Feedback: please continue to respond as this helps formulate ideas: speak with a minister or contact or


Updated 24 May

Joint Vision Group of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak Church

Highlights of 15 May 2024 Meeting

Steering Group: meeting of the Ministers and Session Clerks of Cleish, Fossoway, Orwell & Portmoak and Kinross) to be called as soon as possible, inviting Allan Wilson, Perth Presbytery, to map out a way forward.

a.   Steering Group members to be asked for their views on Kinross, Orwell & Portmoak calling themselves “Kinross-shire Parish Grouping”; otherwise, union to be “Kinross, Orwell and       Portmoak” but Vision Group is aware that this does not acknowledge Arngask congregation

b.   Presbytery to indicate percentage responsibilities of a newly appointed minister for Cleish & Fossoway and the wider Parish Grouping

c.   Presbytery to indicate percentage involvement of congregations in Nominating Committee for a newly appointed minister

2. Kirk Session and Eldership: sub-committee of Vision Group to bring forward proposals for a revised Kirk Session structure for the united congregations that would ensure effective decision making and good governance. 

3. Ordination of new elders in 2025 was considered a positive message to the united congregations and would strengthen the united Kirk Session. Potential new elders to be identified.

4. Membership roll of the united congregations requires review so that, on union, it is as accurate as possible. Discussions have started regarding the mechanics of amalgamating the two rolls.

5. Next Vision Group meeting: 19 June 2024.

6. Feedback: please continue to respond as this helps formulate ideas: speak with a minister or contact or


Joint Vision Group of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak Church

Highlights of 17 April 2024 Meeting

1. Basis of Union: liaising with presbytery around this, particularly our proposed name. Still hoping to meet timescale of the document being voted on by Kirk Sessions at May meetings and congregational approval in June.

2. Discussion of congregational feedback received: thanks expressed for this. Key first step of group is agreeing the basis of union, then able to explore details in more depth in the next phase, including consulting congregations around these matters.

3. Joint mailer: plan for a weekly joint email to congregations from June, containing notices/intimations relevant to both churches.

4. Church publications: aware of differences between them. To consider options for the way forward in future discussions.

5. Joint Membership roll: representatives from each church to meet to discuss the practicalities of merging the rolls.

6. Next Vision Group meeting: 15 May. Reviewing feedback from Session meetings; preparing for reading edicts and congregational vote.

7. Feedback: please continue to respond as this helps formulate ideas: speak with a minister or contact or

Updated 21 March

Joint Vision Group of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak Church

Highlights of 13th March 2024 Meeting

1. Basis of Union: aim for the legal document to be presented to respective May Kirk Sessions and then for congregational approval in June. Union from 1 January 2025.

2. Joint Mission Statement: proposal for respective May Kirk Sessions: Worshipping God, Following Christ, Serving the Community

3. Kirk Session: initial discussions exploring how best a united Session might operate to bring spiritual leadership and oversight.

4. Ministry where no longer a worshipping presence: consideration for a specific Kirk Session group to lead on the response to the communities of Glenfarg and Scotlandwell/ Kinnesswood. Ministry in the form of regular worship in a hall and/or ministry through linking to local community events.

5. Finance: the Treasurers outlined the many actions taken ready to unite funds and processes, scrutinised by respective Finance committees.

6. Next Vision Group meeting: 17 April. Reviewing feedback; preparation of proposals for May Kirk Sessions; review of Pastoral report and operation of a joint membership roll.

7. Feedback: please continue to respond as this helps formulate ideas: speak with a minister or

contact or

Updated 22 February

Joint Vision Group of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak Church

Highlights of 14 February 2024 Meeting

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please speak with the Minister or Session Clerk or send an email as we welcome everyone’s input.

1. Name of the united congregation: the recommendation is “Kinross-shire” (for OSCR: Kinross-shire Parish Church of Scotland)

2. Joint Mission Statement: the recommendation is Worshipping God, Following Christ, Serving the Community

3. Stages for Union: the Basis of Union to be brought to the uniting Kirk Sessions in May 2024 followed by congregational votes. Orwell & Portmoak congregation also to vote whether to accept Rev Alan Reid as its Minister. Basis of Union then passes to Presbytery and OSCR for approval, everything being finalised ready for 1 January 2025 union.

4. Communicating with members: beginning ahead of the official union, a proposal for a joint weekly email sent to subscribers to share Church family news and upcoming events.

5. Groups: all groups have met/ are meeting to discuss how best to work together, e.g. plan for a joint Christian Aid initiative.

6. Parish Grouping Kirk Session meeting 22 February: an opportunity to keep building relationships across the parish grouping and discuss ideas.

7. Next Vision Group meeting: 13 March. Future meetings to consider how to respond to areas of the parish where there is no longer a worshipping presence, and what a future Kirk Session might look like.

8. Feedback: the group welcomed the comments it had received and took time to discuss each one.

Please continue as this helps formulate ideas: speak with a minister or contact or

Updated 25 January

Joint Vision Group of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak Church - Highlights of 17 January 2024 Meeting

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please speak with the Minister or Session Clerk or send an email as we welcome everyone’s input.

• The group explored four questions raised in a discussion paper from Rev. Alan Reid and Rev. Robert Calvert.

o What times should services be at following the union? It was recognised that there were pros and cons to services being held at the same time or at different times. On balance, the group was minded to support a service time of 10.30am at both Kinross and Orwell churches.

o What issues might need to be borne in mind regarding services other than Sunday mornings? Glenfarg, Kinnesswood and Scotlandwell are/will be without a community of Christian witness. Offering perhaps monthly services in local buildings, not necessarily on Sundays, could be an important way of including these communities.

o Could we start to do more sharing across the two parishes before union takes place? It was felt strongly that, rather than waiting for 1st January 2025 as the point at which the congregations come together, general moves can and should be taken now. Suggestions include Messy Church, youth activities, Christian Aid Week, house groups and mission partners. A joint Saturday email of news would enable shared information. A vision statement would encapsulate the joint churches’ vision.

o What are the implications of union for areas of ministry such as school chaplaincy and trusteeships? Historically the local minister has been expected to be school’s chaplain and to serve onthe board of various charities, e.g. Arthur and Margaret Thompson Charitable Trust. Team ministry and the appointment of a KYTHE youth minister will allow this to be reviewed so these important roles are covered, but responsibility does not fall on one minister.

• Team Ministry: it is recognised that Presbytery support will be important for Cleish and Fossoway in moving towards their union and calling a minister who will be part of the Team.

• Feedback: the Joint Vision Group welcomes comments, questions and suggestions from the congregations: please speak with a minister or contact or

• Next meeting: Wednesday 14 February to share updates from sub-groups together with any questions for consideration, and to plan for Thursday 22 February Joint Session meeting.

Updated 4 January 2024

Progress on Parish Grouping:  Joint Vision Group of Kinross and Orwell and Portmoak Church - Highlights of 13t December 2023 Meeting

Move forward with getting a Basis of Union drawn up between Kinross and Orwell and Portmoak

Move forward discussions between similar groups in Kinross and Orwell and Portmoak as follows:  Reports to be brought to Vision Group meeting on 13th March at the latest:


Comms: Alice Getley +                                                                                                       

Finance: Alan McGhie +                                                                                                     

Property: Jaffrey Weir +                                                                                                       

Outreach and Youth & Families: Brenda Fraser+ Austin                                                      

Worship:  Rev. Alan Reid                                                                                                     

Pastoral: Robert Mitchell +                                                                                                

 Orwell and Portmoak

Comms: Cara Chalmers +

Finance:  Linda Stewart  +

Property: J John Bayne/Lachlan MacLean +

Outreach and Youth & Families:  Rosemary Tolson + Cara

Worship:  Rev. Robert Calvert

Pastoral: Beth Cox +

United Service 31st December at 11am in Cleish Parish Church.

Next Vision Group meeting Wednesday 17 January at 7.30pm in Orwell Church.

Updated 8 December

Progress on Parish Grouping: A joint meeting of the Kirk Sessions of Cleish, Fossoway, Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak Churches was held on 30th November with Revd. Allan Wilson and Revd. 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 ofthe departure of Revd. 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 Revd. Alan Reid and Revd. Robert Calvert and recognised the real risk of ministers being overburdened. The Kirk Sessions welcomed the appointment of Revd. Beverley Stevenson OLM, as Interim Moderator of Cleish and Fossoway.

Updated 23 November

Joint Vision Group of Kinross and Orwell & Portmoak Church Highlights of 15 November 2023 Meeting

• With the departure of Rev Lis Stenhouse, Rev Beverley Stevenson OLM has been appointed Interim Moderator for Cleish and Fossoway

• Cleish and Fossoway have drafted a Basis of Union which is now with Presbytery

• Cleish and Fossoway are seeking a Locum Minister.

• A joint meeting of all Kinross-shire Kirk Sessions, Ministers and Presbytery representatives is proposed for 30 November 2023

• Historian David Munro has shared with the Scottish Churches Trust an inventory of important artefacts held at Portmoak Church

• The move towards a Kinross-shire Parish Grouping affects everyone so all congregations are encouraged to contribute to the process.

Updated 10 November

Presbytery Approval: The new Presbytery of Perth has formally agreed the Parish Grouping proposals for Kinross-shire.

The Steering Group for the Parish Grouping met on 28 October. The group consists of the Ministers and Session Clerks from the four congregations. The union of Cleish and Fossoway is in progress, with paperwork presented to the Presbytery. With Rev. Lis Stenhouse leaving Cleish and Fossoway, it was agreed that there was a need for Presbytery involvement given the change incircumstances. A conference of elders from all four congregations in the grouping will be held on 22 February 2024.

Updated 19 October

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. The Steering Group is meeting later this month.

6 October 2023

The Kirk Session recently agreed that talks with our neighbours at Orwell and Portmoak be progressed with the aim of uniting by 31st December 2024. This has also been considered and approved by the Kirk Session of Orwell and Portmoak.

The Kirk Sessions, and the Vision Group for the Parish Grouping, are also exploring ways of increasing co- operation ahead of formal union.