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Act 10, 1842 (X) – Act Anent the Election of Elders. 23rd May 1842.

1.      That when a kirk-session shall have resolved upon an addition to the number of elders in the same, the minister shall publicly intimate from the pulpit, after divine service on the Lord’s Day, that an appointment of additional elders has been resolved upon, and shall also intimate the number which is to be added; and he shall certify the whole male communicants of the congregation, that on the third Lord’s Day thereafter, they shall give in lists of such members of the congregation, being communicants and of full age, as they would choose for the office of eldership, the number of names in each list being required to be as near as may be one-half more than the number of elders proposed, as, for instance, six when four elders are to be appointed; the session being at liberty, if they see fit, to suggest the names of such persons as they may deem meet for the office, for the consideration of the communicants; and the minister shall repeat the intimation on the two following Lord’s Days, giving such exhortation as he shall deem necessary.

2.      That on the Lord’s Day fixed for giving in the lists aforesaid, the said male communicants shall respectively give to the elder or elders of the congregation appointed to receive them their said lists, which shall be signed by the parties lodging them, and shall have been sealed up by them before being given in.

3.      That if the number of elders proposed to be appointed be not an even number, that to be contained in the list shall be equal to it and one-half of the next immediate larger number, as, for instance, if the elders proposed to be appointed shall be five, the names to be given in shall be eight in each list.

4.      That on the following Monday, the session shall meet in the Church with open doors, so that all members of the congregation who choose to attend may be present, and shall then and there open the sealed lists, and the names in each list shall be read aloud and recorded, with the number of votes given for each, and those having most votes, to the number required to be contained in the lists, shall be taken as the parties chosen, from among whom the elders are to be appointed.

5.      That the session shall thereupon select, from among the parties chosen as aforesaid, the number resolved to be added to the session; being, however, always entitled, according to the laws of the Church, to judge of the qualifications and fitness for the office of the parties so chosen, and to reject such as they shall judge to be unqualified; and being also entitled, if they shall see cause, in the particular circumstances of any special case, to appoint to be elders the whole of the parties so chosen.

6.      That when the parties so chosen and appointed shall have declared their willingness to accept the office of elder, their edict shall be served, and the other steps followed out towards their ordination, agreeably to the forms now in use, and according to the laws of the Church.

7.      That in parishes which, by the intervention of lochs, ridges of hills, or the like, are separated into totally distinct districts; or when, from other circumstances, a division is considered necessary and proper, the session may, with consent and authority of the Presbytery, divide the parish into districts, and require a certain number of elders to be appointed for each district; and the choosing of elders of each district shall be by the male communicants residing in each district respectively, in the same manner as is herein before provided as to parishes.