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Act 18, 2013 (XVIII) – Act anent Assistantships. 22nd May 2013.

The General Assembly, desiring that arrangements for applications for an assistant minister be updated and clarified, amend paragraph 2 of Act IX, Class II, 2007 anent Assistantships, to read as follows: Such application shall only be considered from congregations which (1) are able to remit twice the Full Ministry Costs plus the appropriate Administration Levy; (2) are able to provide suitable accommodation and expenses for an Assistant Minister; and (3) have met their annual commitment to central funds in each of the previous three years, or where there has been a shortfall, can show that this has been due to exceptional circumstances to the satisfaction of the Home Missions Board.

The Act as amended now reads:

The General Assembly having considered that it is desirable for the Ministers of certain congregations to have Ordained Assistants enact as follows:

1. The General Assembly reserve to themselves the right to judge of all applications which may be made by congregations for the appointment of an Assistant Minister under waiver of the conditions of Act III, 1851.

2. Such application shall only be considered from congregations which (1) are able to remit twice the Full Ministry Costs plus the appropriate Administration Levy; (2) are able to provide suitable accommodation and expenses for an Assistant Minister; and (3) have met their annual commitment to central funds in each of the previous three years, or where there has been a shortfall, can show that this has been due to exceptional circumstances to the satisfaction of the Home Missions Board.

3. An application for the appointment of an Assistant Minister in terms of this Act shall be by means of a Petition from the Presbytery presented to the General Assembly through the Committee on Sustentation and Ministry. The Committee shall only transmit such a Petition after scrutiny and approval of a special Sustentation Schedule.

4. Such a Schedule shall give adequate information so as to satisfy the Committee as to the suitability of the accommodation to be provided for and the expenses to be paid to the Assistant Minister by the congregation, and the nature of his proposed duties.

5. Upon the granting of an application by the General Assembly the Presbytery shall consult with the congregation concerned and process an invitation from them as though it were a Call and upon its acceptance make the requisite arrangements for the ordination/induction of the appointee to the assistantship and to a seat in the Presbytery.

6. The appointee shall be instructed by the minister who shall consult with the Kirk Session as regards the work to be undertaken by him. He shall have a seat in the Kirk Session and may preside in the absence of the Minister.

7. In the event of the General Assembly granting an application but no appointment being made within two years, the permission of the General Assembly will lapse and a fresh application will require to be made in accordance with 3) and 4) above. Such an application may be submitted, with accompanying Schedule, to the meeting of the Committee on Sustentation and Ministry in the March before the second General Assembly after the Assembly which granted the original application.

8. The appointment shall in the first instance be for three years, renewable by the Presbytery at the request of the Kirk Session, for a further period of three years. The permission of the General Assembly must be obtained for any extension beyond six years. In either case, renewal shall be dependent upon the congregation having met their commitment to central funds in each of the previous years where there has been an Assistant, or where there has been a shortfall, can show that this has been due to exceptional circumstances to the satisfaction of the Presbytery or the Sustentation and Ministry Committee as the case may be. In the former case the Presbytery shall advise the Committee of their decision.

9. At the date of expiry of the Assistant’s appointment, he shall be placed on the Register of Ministers without Charge and be paid at the rate of the Stipend for a period of six months from the date of the expiry of his appointment or until his induction to a charge, whichever is sooner.

10. Act IX, Class II, 2007 is hereby repealed.