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Act 40, 2017 (XL) – Act anent Appointment of a Pastoral Support Worker. 25th May 2017.

The General Assembly approve the appointment of a Pastoral Support Worker to supplement the work of Presbytery Pastoral Panels and to offer support and care to ministers and their families.

1.  The General Assembly declare that the remit of the Pastoral Care Support Worker is as follows: The Pastoral Care Support Worker is to be proactive in befriending and encouraging ministers and their families – particularly those in difficult circumstances, nearing retirement, facing perplexing and demanding situations or in ministries that may be terminated. This remit is to be carried out by personal contact with ministers, not only by telephone and email, but also by face to face contact.

2.  The Support Worker has wide freedom to carry out this work as he sees fit, and particularly to contact all ministers to offer support and encouragement. The Support Worker may seek medical, counselling or other professional help for ministers who desire it. Strict confidentiality in this work is vital, the only exception being in situations which clearly involve church discipline.

3.  The Support worker will chair the Panel of Pastoral Care.

4.  The Support Worker will report once a year to the Board of Ministry, and be free to consult with the members of the Panel or the Board at any time.

5.  This is a non-salaried post, but all necessary expenses will be met under the Board of Ministry budget.

6.  The General Assembly appoint Rev. Alex J. Macdonald as the Pastoral Support Worker.