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Act 22, 1990 (XXII) – Act anent Code of Regulations for Missionaries. 24th May 1990. (As amended by Act 22, 1996 (XXII) – Act anent Amendments to Regulations for Missionaries)

The General Assembly approve the Code of Regulations for Missionaries as set out below, and to that end they repeal Act XXXII of Class II, 1979, and Act XVIII of Class II, 1986.



1.1 The Free Church of Scotland, through its Foreign, Overseas and Jewish Missions’ Board(hereafter referred to as the Board) recruits, selects, appoints and sends to its present fields (and to any fields that may hereafter be taken up), the following classes of Missionaries:

1.1.1 Ordained Ministers of the Free Church of Scotland or any Church with which the Free Church of Scotland has a mutual eligibility arrangement and ministers of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ireland: in terms of the provisions of Act XXVII of Class II 1982.

Where formal induction to missionary work is appropriate the Board will arrange this by agreement with a Presbytery of the Free Church of Scotland, or the sending Church.

1.1.2 Christian men and women, whose qualifications, training and experience are deemed appropriate for missionary service. Appointments in this category are from the communicant membership of:

(i) the Free Church of Scotland,

(ii) the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ireland,

(iii) the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia,

(iv) any Church with which the Free Church of Scotland may have specific relationships.

In all such cases a written commitment of adherence to the doctrines of the Westminster Confession of Faith shall be a condition of appointment.

1.2 Where the Free Church of Scotland recognises an indigenous Church in the country of service, missionaries appointed by the Board for work within that Church shall, in the first instance, be seconded to the indigenous Church and their precise place and function agreed upon in the terms of secondment.

1.3 Where the appointment is to a missionary-orientated institution such as a school or hospital which is the direct concern of the Board singly or in cooperation with other agencies, appointment of missionaries shall be by the Board or by the cooperating agency with the Board’s prior agreement.

Such institutions may make appointments of a missionary nature on local contract and shall report these to the Board. The Board have authority to help with the financial and material provisions of such local appointments.

1.4 Secondment: The Board may second persons to other missionary work under terms of secondment regulations approved by the General Assembly. Current regulations are set out in Act XXV (Class II), 1988.


2.1 Selection Procedure: Persons interested in service under the Board will normally first meet informally with the Board’s Recruitment Committee. If the indications are favourable the candidate will be asked to submit a completed application form along with a certificate from his/her Kirk Session and in case of ordained person or probationer a certificate from his Presbytery. In all cases a certificate from the Board’s Medical Adviser will be required in respect of the candidate, his wife and children. The candidate will then meet with the full Board. The outcome of interview will be conveyed by letter.

2.2 The Board will arrange for training and orientation as required.

2.3 Acceptance of appointment implies an undertaking by the missionary to render the full period of service which qualifies for home-leave, that is four years, and it is hoped that this undertaking will be renewed repeatedly on occasions of home-leave.

2.4 In exceptional circumstances it shall be within the power of the Board at the time of appointment to enter into special arrangements with any missionary for a definite term of service of such length and subject to such conditions as may be agreed on. Any such special arrangements shall be reported to the next General Assembly or meeting of its Commission.

2.3 Appointments shall run from a date to be specified by the Board in each case, but only service in the foreign country shall be reckoned for purposes of home-leave. Salary shall be payable from the date of appointment.

2.6 All missionaries shall, on appointment, sign a declaration of acceptance of the regulations and of the Board’s policy in the event of kidnapping. A formal contract shall only be necessary insofar as special circumstances call for definition.

2.7 A lady going out to be married to a missionary will meet with the Board and will be required to furnish a certificate from the Board’s Medical Adviser.


3.1 Arrangements for travel to the country of appointment and on home-leave shall be the responsibility of the Board through agents approved by them and shall be paid for by the Board.

3.2 These travel arrangements refer to missionaries, their wives and children under 18. Though it is recognised that in certain situations wives and/or children may have to travel at different times from the missionary the Board’s responsibility shall be limited to the same number of journeys as the missionary is due.

3.3 The Board will make travel arrangements for a lady going out to be married to a missionary when the requirements of 2.7 above have been fulfilled.

3.4 When a missionary’s child whose outgoing has been at the Board’s expense in terms of these regulations, shall reach the age of 18 years on the mission field, the Board will meet the expense of return to the home country when the travel arrangements have been vetted by the Board, and return is within one year of the young person having reached the age of 18 or having completed full-time education.

3.3 The transit of a reasonable amount of personal effects and of such necessary goods and equipment as are not conveniently available in the country of service will also be arranged and paid for by the Board. It shall be the responsibility of the missionary to submit a list for approval before transit is arranged.


4.1 Where 1.2 and 1.4 above do not apply agreement about duties to be undertaken shall be made at time of appointment.

4.2 Missionaries shall not absent themselves from their sphere of duty except when on recognised vacation or in an emergency.

4.3 Missionaries shall not undertake outside commitments which may conflict with their full performance of the duties to which they were appointed.

4.4 Missionaries shall not undertake any new schemes or extensions of any schemes already sanctioned without the Board’s being advised thereof in advance and their approval being first obtained.

4.5 During home-leave, and after due rest, the Board shall have first claim upon the services of the missionary to promote the interests of foreign missionary work.

4.6 During home-leave outside employment shall not be undertaken, except with the consent of the Board.

4.7 Missionaries must gain a working knowledge of the vernacular language. The Board will meet the cost of language study. Where possible language study will be undertaken before proceeding to the field, otherwise adequate time must be given to such studies in the first period of service so that within two years of arrival on the field evidence of satisfactory progress can be provided.

4.8 All missionaries are required to submit an annual report of their work to the Board and for this purpose they are encouraged to keep regular records.

4.9 Vehicles: Where missionaries are provided with vehicles they are responsible for their proper maintenance and repair.

4.10 Properties: All missionaries occupying or having under their care properties owned by the Free Church of Scotland General Trustees must arrange for their proper maintenance and repair.


5.1 Each missionary is accorded the right to refer to the Board any matter of personal or domestic concern in which counsel or help is required.

3.2 Problems arising on the Field involving other missionaries, mission policy or relations with the National Churches should first be discussed locally. In exceptional cases where an amicable agreement cannot be reached a report may be submitted to the Board.

5.3 During visitation of any Field the delegate(s), of the Board will have private consultations with missionaries and missionaries wives. Soon after return either for home-leave or on completion of service designated members of the Board will interview missionaries and wives.


6.1 On the Field: Accommodation owned by the Free Church of Scotland will be occupied rent-free by the missionary. Where there is no Church-owned accommodation the Board will pay the rent of accommodation previously approved by them.

6.2 Home-leave: During home-leave the Board will, as far as possible, provide accommodation. Otherwise accommodation allowances will be paid by the Board.


7.1 The Board recognise two categories of missionary:

(i) Professionals, including ordained ministers, teachers, doctors, nurses and others possessing qualifications and appointed to posts that would be regarded as professional.

(ii) Non-professionals.

7.2 Professionals will be paid at the rate of the equal dividend.

7.3 Non-professionals will be paid at the rate of 80% of the equal dividend.

7.4 Where appropriate, expenses incurred in connection with the missionary’s performance of duties will be met by the Board.


8.1 Outfit Allowance: Missionaries on first going to the field shall receive outfit/luggage allowance as the Board shall deem appropriate.

8.2 Holiday Allowance: Holiday allowances in years in which home-leave does not occur will be payable in terms of 10.1 below.

8.3 Child Allowance: Children’s allowances will be payable in respect of each child up to the age of 18 years. The rates will be fixed by the Board and adjusted from time to time and may vary from one mission field to another. During regular authorised home- leave children’s allowance at the current British rate will be paid unless or until the family qualify under the State scheme.

8.4 Educational Allowances: When a missionary’s child reaches school age the missionary should report to the Board the expenditure involved in school and, where necessary, residential fees. The Board shall consider this in relation to the facilities available and shall fix the amount of educational allowance. Where, in the interests of the work, a missionary continues on the field beyond the date of any of their children completing secondary education the Board are empowered, where appropriate, to give help with tertiary education costs.

8.5 Separation Allowances: Where missionaries’ children are, for good cause, resident in Scotland (or their home country) while their parents are on duty overseas, it shall be competent for the Board to arrange for the children to visit their parents annually, if requested by the parents. This provision shall apply to children up to the age of 21 who are in full-time undergraduate education or in training for a trade, profession etc., but who are not full-time wage earners in permanent employment. Costs will be met for international air travel and internal surface travel in both the UK and the destination country. Internal air travel costs will only be met if there is no suitable surface transport or if surface travel is inadvisable for safety reasons. The Secretary must be consulted before arrangements are undertaken.

8.6 Medical and Dental Expenses on the Field: Claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred on the field should be made by completing the relevant form available from the Board Secretary.

8.7 Responsibility Allowance: Certain posts (e.g. Head of an Institution, Field Superintendent) may qualify for a responsibility allowance.

8.8 Non-professional married man’s Allowance: An allowance of up to 20% of the equal dividend is payable to a non-professional married man.


Information on Insurance and Superannuation provisions will be provided at time of appointment.


10.1 Annual Leave: It is required that missionaries will take reasonable vacation within the country of service, and the Board shall, as their resources allow, make such payments to missionaries as shall enable them to take such vacation in any years in which home-leave is not due. The incidence and duration of such vacations will be by agreement with the local Mission Council or Presbytery, or in the case of institutions, such as schools or hospitals, the administrator of the institution.

10.2 Sick Leave: Sick leave on full pay up to one month’s duration may be granted by the local Council, Advisory Council, Presbytery or Administrator on provision of a medical certificate. Where it is deemed necessary to extend sick leave beyond a month the approval of the Board shall be sought.

When it is evident that circumstances are such as require a missionary or a member of a missionary’s family to return home, the authority of the Board shall be sought, where possible before arrangements are made. In cases of great urgency a decision should be taken on the field. In such cases the Board shall have power to make such financial provision as they deem necessary.

10.3 Compassionate Leave: Compassionate home-leave may be granted at the discretion of the Board.

10.4 Home-leave: Provided suitable interim-arrangements can be made and prejudice to the return of the missionary to the country of service avoided, the following conditions shall apply in all the Board’s mission fields.

10.4.1 The normal period of service will be FOUR years qualifying for home-leave of NINE months.

10.4.2 The Board are empowered to alter these arrangements in the following circumstances:

(a) After a FIRST TERM of THREE years, seven months home-leave will be offered on commitment to a further period of service on the field.

(b) Where special excursion fares are available without tax penalties missionaries may have the option, subject to the approval of the Board, of taking up to three months home-leave after not less than two years’ service. This option will ordinarily be available only for those on the second and subsequent periods of service. Missionaries availing themselves of this option will be entitled to nine months home-leave after a further period of three years service. In permitting these alternative arrangements the Board will take into consideration the needs on the field in question and the availability of finance.

10.4.3 The period of home-leave shall be reckoned from the date of departure from the country of service until the date of return thereto.

10.4.4 The Board reserve the power to judge how far sick or special leave may affect entitlement to home-leave.

10.4.5 Home-leave shall be so arranged as to occasion minimal inconvenience to the mission, the Board being authorised to adjust the general regulations to secure this. In particular, if the termination of a specified period of service or arrival of the time for home-leave to begin shall occur during the currency of a school session or a recognised year of operation in any college, hospital or institution in which the missionary may be engaged, such termination of service or beginning of home-leave may on the advice of the administrator of the institution stand deferred until the close of such session or recognised year.

10.4.6 The acceptance of full home-leave shall imply on the part of all missionaries an undertaking to accept renewal of appointment: where appointment is not to be renewed the Board is to be notified within one month of the commencement of home-leave and the provision of 12.2.1 below will apply.


11.1 A missionary on home-leave who is an elder of the Free Church of Scotland but not a minister shall be eligible to be elected a Commissioner in any Presbytery of the Church. If he be so elected a Certificate under the hand of Vice-Chairman of the Board that he is “bona fide” a missionary of the Church, and that he has signed the Formula, shall be sufficient.

11.2 Every ordained missionary (minister or elder) who is on regular home-leave and who may not have been appointed a Commissioner shall nevertheless be a member of the General Assembly and the Commission thereof, provided he shall furnish to the Clerk of Assembly, not later than seven days before the opening of the Assembly (or a diet of the Commission thereof) a certificate of his standing under the hand of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board, and as such member he shall be subject to no disqualification.

11.3 To secure the balance of ministers and elders on the roll of the General Assembly the home Presbyteries of the Church shall, in alphabetic rotation be advised by the Clerk of Assembly of a requirement to grant the requisite commission of an elder or minister to correspond with each minister or elder commissioned under the former part of this regulation. In the case of an elder to whom a commission is given under the hand of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board such commission shall be held to cover both his Presbyterial and Session certificates.


Service under the Board may be terminated in the following ways and under the conditions specified:

12.1 By Call from Home Church: It shall be competent for a Presbytery in the home Church to moderate in a Call to a missionary on overseas service. The Presbytery shall notify the missionary concerned and shall transmit the Call to the Board who shall have powers of Presbytery in disposing of it. No Call shall be so disposed of without the missionary concerned having opportunity to communicate his mind on the matter to the Board and the decision of the Board may be appealed against to the General Assembly or its ordinary Commission – the period of submission of reasons being, in this situation, extended to one month. Where a Call so presented is sustained the Board’s responsibility in respect of home- coming expenses will be proportional to the portion of the full-term of service which the missionary has served, e.g. half home-coming expenses will be met after two years of the term of service then current. The remainder shall be a charge on the calling congregation.

12.2 By Resignation: In all cases of resignation the Board must be satisfied as to the reasons for resignation and have at least three months notice.

12.2.1 Resignation on completion of one or more full terms of service: On resignation after one full period of service the missionary shall be entitled to home-leave salary and allowances for six months or until commencement of permanent employment whichever is sooner. In cases of resignation or retirement after two or more such terms of service the entitlement shall be to nine months salary and allowances with the same proviso. When employment is accepted within three months of return home, salary (but not allowances) shall, nevertheless, be paid for three months. This provision shall not apply to ministers being inducted to a home charge within three months of return.

12.2.2 Resignation during a period of service: If the missionary has rendered at least one half of the service qualifying for home-leave home-coming fares shall be met by the Board, provided that home-coming is within six weeks of resignation: otherwise home-coming fares will be the missionary’s own responsibility.

12.3 As a result of a disciplinary process: Where church censures require the termination of service this shall be deemed to have occurred from the date of censure. In such cases there is no obligation on the Board to help with home-coming fares or pay a living allowance. At its discretion the Board may make “ex gratia” payments.

12.4 As a result of a resolution by the National Church: The “National Church” means the Church to which the missionary is seconded and the resolution must be notified to the Board by a body empowered by its supreme court to act for it. Where the resolution is on grounds (e.g. incompatibility) which do not imply moral turpitude or liability to Church censure the Board, having exhausted the possibilities of alternative solutions, shall recall the missionary and be responsible for the cost of repatriation and the home-leave payments for which the period of service rendered shall qualify. Where the resolution is on the grounds of such censurable conduct as require termination of service the provision of 12.3 above shall apply. The position in respect of fares and assistance of a missionary appealing to the Board for review, shall be as therein described.

12.5 By resolution of the Board dispensing with the services of the missionary – the missionary having the right to appeal to the General Assembly or its Commission: In this case the Board shall meet the costs of home-coming and the missionary’s salary for three months or such longer period for which the period of service rendered shall qualify.

12.6 In the case of a missionary (male or female), single at the time of appointment, a review of the appointment will be undertaken on the notification of the missionary’s intention to marry.  Should the review lead to the termination of the appointment the terms of Section 12.2.1 or Section 12.2.2 shall apply as appropriate.


The relationships of the Free Church of Scotland and its Board of Missions with national Churches are defined in specific agreements with those Churches in terms of which agreements missionaries are seconded to the national Churches.


Where civil statute permits, all heritable property and other capital assets held for Church and Mission purposes by the Free Church of Scotland are vested in the General Trustees of the Church. Otherwise arrangements are made (e.g. in India) which comply with the requirements of civil law and secure to the Mission full use of the assets concerned. Where necessary (e.g. in Peru), the Board nominate and the General Assembly appoint Trustees’ Nominees who are empowered to manage the Church’s properties and other assets on behalf of the General Trustees. Copies of all Title Deeds of properties held or acquired abroad shall be sent to the Clerk to the Committee on Custody of Titles and the original Titles shall be deposited with the local Law Agent or bank of the Mission.



1.1 These congregations are the direct responsibility of the Presbytery of Prince Edward Island and the Presbytery of Ontario and Western Canada, and these Presbyteries together constitute the Synod of North America.

1.2 The Board’s function is to assist in supply arrangements, to ascertain that conditions of pastoral service in these congregations comply with Assembly directives and to act as a channel of communications with the General Assembly. The Board are also authorised by the Assembly to appoint assessors to Presbytery and/or Synod as may be desirable.

1.3 Though the ideal is to have ministers settled in the overseas charges as in home charges the procedures governing which are set forth in the following paragraphs, the Board are mandated to give what assistance they can in shorter-term arrangements waiving a proportion of the costs if this should seem reasonable.


2.1 When a Presbytery moderates in a Call from a North American congregation to a minister in a charge in Scotland, or a probationer or a missionary in the service of the Board, the Call shall, in the first instance be transmitted to the Board. When the Board are satisfied with the conditions of service offered they shall represent the Presbytery at the bar of the Presbytery dealing with the Call or shall deal directly with the probationer or missionary. If the Call is addressed to a missionary who is seconded to another Church in terms of 1.2 of the Board regulations that Church will be given the opportunity to express its mind and to be represented at the bar of the Presbytery dealing with the Call.

2.2 Before declaring themselves satisfied with the conditions of service referred to above, the Board shall approve of the minimum stipend, the range of expenses promised, health insurance coverage and accommodation to be provided, and shall be informed of the congregation’s undertaking to review the stipend and expenses annually in relation to the cost of living in the place of service.

2.3 The congregation calling the minister shall be responsible for his outgoing travel costs, inclusive of the cost of the shipment of such goods as shall be itemised and agreed to by the congregation.

2.4 In the event of a congregation failing to provide the promised minimum stipend, the Board shall undertake to make up the deficit at the end of each financial year for a period of three years and, failing more satisfactory financial arrangements at the end of this period, the Board shall provide, if desired, the minister’s travel costs to his home country, including cost of shipment of such goods as shall be itemised and agreed to by the Board. In any case the Board shall not be obliged to contrive to make good the stipend deficit beyond this period.

2.3 Home-leave: The Board shall pay travel costs to his home country of a minister who has given a period of six years’ service in the Synod of North America, it being understood that the Synod determine the length of home-leave and retain responsibility for stipend. The Board will pay an accommodation allowance.


3.1 Call from a home congregation duly sustained by the Presbytery of the bounds shall be transmitted to the North American Presbytery via the Board who shall send to the Presbytery disposing of the Call their views to its expediency. When such a Call is accepted, the travel costs, as agreed in advance by the Board, shall be met by the Board in the proportion that the term of service given shall bear to six years: the remainder shall be a charge on the calling congregation. It shall be the responsibility of the minister under Call and the calling congregation to come to an understanding as to what costs the congregation are prepared to undertake with regard to shipment of goods.


4.1 The Board must be satisfied as to the reasons for resignation.

4.2 The minister shall be entitled to the payment of travel costs to his home country and also salary for a period of six months or until he is inducted to a home charge or takes up other permanent employment, whichever is sooner. The cost of salary shall be charged equally to the Board and the North American congregation which was served. An accommodation allowance shall be paid by the Board up to a maximum of six months. The Board will accept responsibility for shipment of only such goods as shall be itemized and agreed to by the Board.


Ministers’ travel costs referred to in 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1 and 4.2 above include the travelling expenses of his wife and dependant children up to 18 years of age.



1. Members of the Australian Church, resident in Australia, who desire to volunteer for work in Free Church of Scotland Missions, should apply, in the first instance, to their home Committee indicating the preferred sphere of labour. The Australian Committee would pass on this application, with its comments, to the Free Church of Scotland Foreign Missions Board.

2. When members of the Australian Church resident in Britain apply directly to the Free Church of Scotland Board for acceptance as missionaries, enquiry will be made by the Board forthwith as to whether they have any contractual obligations to the Australian Church.  Where such a bond exists, even if of an informal nature, applicants will be instructed to direct their application via the Australian Church. Even where no such obligation exists the Board will notify the Australian Church of the application and invite its comments.

3. In the case of a missionary candidate who has trained for the ministry in Scotland under the jurisdiction of a Presbytery of the Free Church of Scotland it is competent for that Presbytery, if the Australian Church so wish, to licence the candidate. Ordination and induction or, in the case of unordained missionaries, the setting apart to the work, maybe decided in collaboration with the Australian Church in each particular case having regard to the desires of the candidates and the circumstances of appointment