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Act 15, 2022 – Travelling Expenses, Preaching fees, and Resident Supply

The General Assembly, seeking to update the legislation relating to travelling expenses, preaching fees, and resident supply, enact and ordain as follows:

1.            Travelling expenses. Travelling and accommodation expenses incurred when carrying out duties for the Church shall be paid by the relevant body.

1.1.         Boards and Committees. Expenses incurred while serving the Church on General Assembly Boards and Committees will be reimbursed by the Church Offices on the submission of a claim form and relevant supporting receipts.

1.2.         Presbyteries. The Presbytery will reimburse travel expenses for those engaged in Presbytery business, including expenses incurred when appointed as Commissioners to the General Assembly. 

1.3.         Deacons’ Courts. The local congregation shall be responsible for meeting the travelling expenses of the Minister(s), church workers, other congregational staff, and of visiting supply preachers.

1.4.         Mileage Rate. The recommended rate at which mileage claims will be reimbursed will be the current HMRC tax-free maximum.

1.5.         Public transport should be used wherever possible.

2.            Preaching Supply. The recommended minimum weekend supply preaching fee will be set by the Board of Trustees and reviewed on an annual basis. Where supply involves the conduct of only one service on the Lord’s Day it is recommended that the fee will be at least half the level fixed for the full day.

2.1.         The local congregation shall be responsible for providing accommodation and board for weekend supply.

2.2.         A preaching fee does not have to be paid to Ministers in charges, ETS Staff or Mission Board staff. 

3.            Residential Supply and Resident Lay Preachers. Kirk Sessions and Interim-Moderators of vacant congregations may choose to arrange Residential Supply or may seek to appoint a Resident Lay Preacher to cover preaching and pastoral duties during a time of vacancy.

3.1.         The Person appointed for Residential Supply will be an ordained minister of the Free Church of Scotland, who is retired or not in a charge, and who is appointed with the approval of the Presbytery. 

3.2.         A Resident Lay Preacher is a person who is not an ordained Minister, but an ordained Elder of the Church approved by his Kirk Session and by the Presbytery to carry out preaching duties according to the general terms of Act 15, Class 2, 1979.

3.3.         The rate for Residential Supply or a Resident Lay Preacher will normally be least 80% of the current rate of ministerial stipend (pro-rata).

3.4.         The local congregation shall be responsible for accommodation and travelling expenses for the Residential Supply or Resident Lay Preacher.

3.5.         The Deacons’ Court or Finance Committee should arrange for a Contract of Employment to be drawn up based on a template approved by the Central Office. 

3.6.         No appointment involving the occupation of the manse for a period of longer than three months shall be entered into without prior approval of the Presbytery. In all such cases, the Deacons’ Court or Finance Committee should arrange for a Caretaker Agreement based on a template approved by the Central Office.

4.            Repeal. The General Assembly repeal Act 8, Class 2, 1986, Act 12, Class 2, 2014, Act 20, Class 2010, and any other legislation inconsistent with these enactments.