Act 1, Class 1, 2019 (I) – Act anent Representative Elder at Presbytery and Synod. 22nd May 2019.

The General Assembly, with consent of a majority of Presbyteries, and noting that since the suspension of statutory meetings of Synods under the terms of Act 41, Class 2, 2009, the dates of such meetings are no longer meaningful in the Church’s calendar, hereby enact and ordain that:

  1. Presbyteries shall elect one of its Ministers as Moderator of Presbytery at the first ordinary meeting after the rising of the General Assembly. The appointment as Moderator shall run for twelve months and until a successor is appointed after the rising of the General Assembly subsequent to the initial appointment.
  2. Kirk Sessions shall elect a Representative Elder to sit in Presbyteries and Synods at the first ordinary meeting after the rising of the General Assembly and the election shall be notified to the Clerk of Presbytery by extract of minute of the proceedings of the Kirk Session.
  3. The Commissions of Elders to Presbyteries and Synods shall run for twelve months from the rising of the General Assembly in each year, and the Representative Elders shall continue to act as members of Presbytery and Synod until their successors are elected and the election duly notified to the Clerk of Presbytery.
  4. Kirk Sessions shall elect a Representative Elder within two months of the rising of the General Assembly. If a Kirk Session fails to elect a Representative Elder, and to notify the election to the Presbytery Clerk prior to or at the first ordinary meeting of Presbytery after the meeting of the General Assembly at which commissions should lapse, the Clerk of Presbytery shall thereupon require such Kirk Session forthwith to make the necessary election.
  5. In Presbyteries in which there are members who are granted a seat in Presbytery in virtue of their office, for example, staff at Edinburgh Theological Seminary, such Presbyteries shall, at the first ordinary meeting after the rising of the General Assembly in each year, elect an Elder not otherwise a member of Presbytery, and not a Minister, from any Kirk Session within the bounds for each additional seat in the Presbytery, and the commissions of such Elders shall be in all respects similar to those of other representative Elders. This shall not apply to retired ministers who have been granted a seat in Presbytery.
  6. Those elected as a Representative Elder to Presbytery shall also be Representative Elders to the Synod in which the Presbytery is situated should it be required to meet.
  7. Act 4, Class 1, 1893, be hereby repealed.

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The General Assembly, noting that annual statutory meetings of Provincial Synods have been suspended since 2009 General Assembly, and that the reduced number of Presbyteries in the Church has resulted in this tier of Church government becoming largely redundant, and desiring therefore that Provincial Synods be dissolved and removed …
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The General Assembly, noting the Government restrictions on travel and public gatherings due to the COVID19 pandemic, declare that the Assembly shall convene to take up urgent and time-critical business using the Zoom audio-visual technology platform. The General Assembly declare that the Assembly shall convene for one session only …