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Act 24, 2022 – Pastoral Care of Ministers and their Families

The General Assembly enact and ordain as follows to contribute to the pastoral care of Ministers and their families.

1.Board Pastoral Team. The General Assembly instruct the Board of Ministry to appoint a team to assist the Board in fulfilling its responsibility to provide pastoral care for ministers and their families, namely the Board Pastoral Team.

1.1 Membership. The membership of the Pastoral Team will be comprised of a member of the Board, three Ministers of the Church with at least ten years of experience, and two female members. chaired by a member of the Board. The Board shall be at liberty to enlist such additional expertise from around the Church as might be required to deal with situations as they arise.

1.2 Remit. The remit of the Pastoral Team is to ensure the pastoral care of Ministers and their families as follows: to consider ways of providing and improving the pastoral care of Ministers and their families and to support Presbytery Pastoral Teams (PPT) in the delivery of pastoral care at the local level.

2.Board Reference Team. The Board will appoint a Board Reference Team (BRT) to support and advise the BPT. The BRT will be comprised of people with a professional background and experience in pastoral care. This Team will also act as the point of contact for the Board of Ministry in matters arising through the Discipline and Pastoral Care Act

3. Presbyteries. The Team will maintain regular contact with the Conveners of the PPTs to assist them in fulfilling their remit. The Team will meet in-person with Conveners at least twice annually to share good practice and to develop the best pastoral care possible across the denomination.

4. Ministers. The Team will encourage PPTs to make personal contact with all active Ministers in the Church at least once a year. They will be especially vigilant in monitoring situations in which a Minister may need special support and encouragement.

5. Confidentiality. The Team will ensure strict confidentiality in all matters referred to them except for matters which could be the subject of Church discipline.

6. Referrals. The Board’s Pastoral Care Team may respond to referrals made directly to them on the grounds that a referral to the Presbytery Pastoral Team is considered inappropriate by the person making the referral.

7. Reporting. The Team will report to meetings of the Board as required during the year and will do so at least on a quarterly basis.

8.Review. The Team will keep all pastoral care practices and procedures under review and will bring proposals for review and improvement to the attention of the Board.

9.General Assembly. The Board will include a section on Pastoral Care in its report to the General Assembly each year.

10. Repeals. The General Assembly repeal Act 40, Class 2, 2017 anent the appointment of a Pastoral Support Worker, and Act 41, Class 2, 2017 anent the remit of the Panel of Pastoral Care.