Act 9, 1697 (IX) – Act anent the Method of passing Acts of Assembly of general concern to the Church, and for preventing of Innovations (Commonly called the Barrier Act.). 7th January 1697.

The General Assembly, taking into their consideration the Overture and Act made in the last Assembly concerning innovations, and having heard the report of the several commissioners from Presbyteries to whom the consideration of the same was recommended in order to its being more ripely advised and determined in this Assembly; and considering the frequent practice of former Assemblies of this Church, and that it will mightily conduce to the exact obedience of the Acts of Assemblies, that General Assemblies be very deliberate in making of the same, and that the whole Church have a previous knowledge thereof, and their opinion be had therein, and for preventing any sudden alteration or innovation, or other prejudice to the Church, in either doctrine or worship, or discipline, or government thereof, now happily established; do, therefore, appoint, enact, and declare, that before any General Assembly of this Church shall pass any Acts, which are to be binding Rules and Constitutions to the Church, the same Acts be first proposed as overtures to the Assembly, and, being by them passed as such, be remitted to the consideration of the several Presbyteries of this Church, and their opinions and consent reported by their commissioners to the next General Assembly following, who may then pass the same in Acts, if the more general opinion of the Church thus had agreed thereunto.

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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 …
The General Assembly, recognising the need to make use of audio-visual technology in the carrying out of Church business in exceptional circumstances, enact and ordain as follows: General Principles. The General Assembly declare that the following general principles apply for the purposes of this Act. 1.1.         The General Assembly …
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 …