The General Assembly hereby appoint a Commission consisting of all the members of this General Assembly along with Rev. Derek Lamont named by the Moderator to be their Commission.
This Commission is appointed to meet at Edinburgh on Tuesday 3rd October 2023 and on Tuesday 5th March 2024 at 7 o’clock in the evening, and at other times and places as may be required with power to choose their own Moderator.
1.1 Quorum. The quorum shall be any twelve or more of their number, of whom four at least are always to be ministers.
1.2. Continuance. This Commission shall remain in being until another Commission is appointed. All members are required to attend the diets of the Commission.
1.3. Other Church Courts. The General Assembly declare that no other Court of the Church may meet on the dates on which the Assembly has appointed its Commission to meet.
1.4. Submission of Documents. Items of business to be included in the Note of Business of the Commission shall be submitted to the Assembly Clerks’ Office at least ten days before the Commission is due to meet.
2. Constituted Meetings
The General Assembly declare that it shall be competent for the Assembly Clerks, in consultation with the Assembly Business Committee and the Moderator, to decide whether the Commission of Assembly should meet in-person or virtually.
3. General Powers
The General Assembly empower this Commission to take up and dispose of any matter referred to them by the General Assembly or arising out of any Act or finding of the Assembly in accordance with the instructions given by the Assembly.
3.1. Interests of the Church. The Commission shall give attention to the interests of the Church in every respect to ensure that the Church does not suffer or incur any prejudice which it is possible for their powers to prevent, as they will be answerable.
3.2. Public Engagement. The Commission shall take up a report from the Public Engagement Group as required to give such a lead as they are able on moral issues and provide advice and assistance to Presbyteries, Board and Committees of the General Assembly.
3.3. Ministerial Rolls. The said Commission is authorised to receive and dispose of petitions received from Presbyteries regarding the transference of the name of a minister from the Roll of Resigned Ministers to the Roll of Ministers Without Charge Eligible for Call.
3.4. Exclusions. The powers granted above shall not apply to particular affairs or processes before Presbyteries which have only a local relevance and have no reference to the whole Church.
The General Assembly empower this Commission to receive appeals, complaints, petitions and references from individuals and from the lower courts of the Church, and all such matters as were previously directed to Provincial Synods.
4.1. Procedure. The General Assembly declare that the procedure for the submission of papers, etc., regarding references, appeals, complaints, and petitions be such that these be forwarded to the Principal Clerk of Assembly for inclusion in the business of the Commission as this is set out in the 2020 Act on the Dissolution of Synods.
The General Assembly empower this Commission to receive applications for admission to the Free Church as follows.
5.1. Applications from Ministers. The said Commission is hereby authorised to receive and dispose of applications duly submitted through Presbyteries and the Board of Ministry from ministers of other denominations seeking admission to the Free Church ministry
5.2. Applications from Congregations. The said Commission is authorised to receive and dispose of applications through Presbyteries from any congregation wishing to join the Free Church of Scotland submitted in accordance with the procedures laid down by the General Assembly.
6. Mission Board
The General Assembly empower this Commission to receive applications from the Mission Board as follows.
6.1. Church Development. The said Commission is empowered to receive and dispose of applications from church plants to be raised to fully sanctioned charges submitted through the Mission Board.
6.2. Consolidation. The said Commission is empowered to receive and dispose of applications from the Mission Board to link or unite two or more congregations following upon a Report from Board.
6.3. Global Mission. The said Commission is empowered to receive and dispose of applications from the Mission Board to appoint Ministers and workers in fulfilling the Church’s commitment to global mission following a report from the Board.
6.4. Assistant Ministers. The said Commission is empowered to receive and dispose of applications for the appointment of an Assistant Minister in a congregation.
7. Limited Powers
The General Assembly declare that it is not competent for the Commission to become involved in matters other than those committed and referred to them as above. All their proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the Acts and Constitution of the Church, avoiding anything which is contrary or prejudicial to such Acts and Constitution.
7.1. Accountability. The General Assembly further declare that in all their proceedings they shall be accountable to and censurable by next General Assembly as they may find reason arising from the above introduction to Paragraph 6.
7.2. Appeals. The General Assembly affirm that in general terms the findings of the Commission of Assembly are final and not subject to appeal. However, they declare that, in the case of Complaints, Appeals, Petitions, and References, it shall be competent for parties in the review process to appeal to the General Assembly.