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Act 23, 2007 (XXIII) – Act appointing Board of Trustees. 23rd May 2007. (As amended by Act 33, 2008 (XXXIII) – Act anent Membership of Board of Trustees)

1. The General Assembly hereby enact that, as from the close of this Assembly, a Board of Trustees shall discharge the present functions performed by the Stewardship and Policy Committee and by the General Trustees. The Board shall assume all entitlements and responsibilities of the General Trustees in relation to holding title to the Church’s property, both heritable and moveable, as trustees. In addition the Board shall assume the statutory duties and responsibilities of Charity Trustees under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act, 2005. Existing General Trustees not appointed to the Board by this General Assembly shall resign as directors of the Nominee Company. The Board of Trustees shall have responsibility for all aspects of financial management; for monitoring and coordinating strategy development and objective setting; for performance monitoring; and for reporting thereon. In light of the statutory responsibilities falling to Charity Trustees, the Board of Trustees shall have the right to take all appropriate action to protect the Church’s financial position, to deal with potential budget overruns, and to manage any legal or governance risk in relation to the Church’s affairs. In these respects the Board shall have the right to override the authority of other committees and boards. The Board of Trustees shall also report on Custody of Titles and in this regard shall receive reports from the Principal Clerk of Assembly who shall act as Custodier of Titles. The Principal Clerk of Assembly shall have the right to approach the Board of Trustees to request that they act as a Law and Advisory Committee with regard to matters of church legislation.

Membership: Twelve members comprising at least four ministerial members and at least six elders, appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee for a four year term, renewable by the Assembly for one further term of four years. Each Presbytery shall have at least one representative on the Board. The General Assembly shall appoint one of the Board, who shall always be an elder, as Chairman, for a four year term, renewable by the General Assembly for one further term of four years. The quorum shall be three trustees.

Secretary: The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) shall act as Secretary to the Board of Trustees.

The members of the Board of Trustees shall be directors of Free Church of Scotland General Trustees’ Nominees Limited and, in this regard, and for all associated purposes, shall be considered to be the General Trustees of the Free Church of Scotland. When required to transact business in connection with the Trust Estate, the Board of Trustees shall meet in their capacity as the General Trustees’ Nominees Company and only business relevant to the Trust Estate shall be transacted at such a meeting. The General Assembly noting that the proposed Board of Trustees is to succeed to the functions and responsibilities of the Stewardship and Policy Committee, and that the title proposed reflects one area of activity only relating to the relationship between the Church and the civil law, instruct the Board to consider further a description which reflects more appropriately the full range of its remit, and to report to the next General Assembly.

2. The Board of Trustees shall be served by the following Sub-Committees:

2.1 Compliance, Audit and Risk Management Sub-Committee to assume the legal compliance and audit functions of the existing Staffing, Compliance and Audit Sub-Committee of the Stewardship and Policy Committee; to have responsibility for audit of internal controls and processes; to have formal responsibility for reviewing Annual Accounts and Returns to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Membership: At least three members of the Board of Trustees, one of whom shall be appointed as Chairman by the Board; the Chief Administrative Officer ex officio, if an elder of the Church; up to four additional members, who need not be restricted to members of the Board, appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee after consultation with the Board of Trustees.

2.2 Finance Sub-Committee to develop and implement financial policy including reserves policy, loans policy, and budgeting procedures; to keep under review congregational remittances to central funds and the system for gathering such remittances; to oversee, in consultation with the Home Missions Board, the financial implications of special arrangements for congregations; to monitor income and expenditure against budgets; to monitor the performance of the General Trust assets and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees in respect of proposed changes to investment policy.

Membership: At least three members of the Board of Trustees, one of whom shall be appointed as Chairman by the Board; a representative from each of the Personnel Committee, the Home Missions Board, the College Board, and the International Missions Board, as appointed by the said Committee and Boards; the Chief Administrative Officer and Finance Manager both ex officio, if elders of the Church; up to two additional members, who need not be restricted to members of the Board, appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee after consultation with the Board of Trustees.

2.3 Strategy Sub-Committee to ensure that the strategies developed by other committees and boards are done so in a coordinated manner and that organisational structures are aligned with the objectives of these strategies; to act as a forum for discussion and debate regarding issues facing the Church in terms of long term direction.

Membership: At least three members of the Board of Trustees, one of whom shall be appointed by the Board as Chairman; the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of each of the Personnel Committee, the Home Missions Board and the International Missions Board, as appointed by the said Committee and Boards; the Chief Administrative Officer ex officio, if an elder of the Church; up to two additional members, who need not be restricted to members of the Board, appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee after consultation with the Board of Trustees.

2.4 Legal Group to oversee matters in relation to the ongoing dispute with the Free Church (Continuing) and to provide advice to the Board of Trustees and to Deacons’ Courts and congregational trustees.

Membership: To be appointed by the Board of Trustees, bearing in mind that for this issue, continuity of membership is important. The Board of Trustees shall appoint one of their number as the Chairman.

2.5 The place of a representative from each of the Personnel Committee and the Home Missions Board under 3.2 and 3.3 above shall be taken respectively by a representative from each of the Sustentation and Ministry Committee and Church Extension and Redevelopment Committee, until such time as the Personnel Committee and the Home Missions Board be appointed in May 2008.

3. The General Assembly hereby repeal Act II, 2006, Act IV, 2005, Act VI, 2005, Act XV, 2004, Act II, 1979, Act XVI, 1977 and all other Acts bearing on the structures, remits and powers of Committees, Boards and General Trustees insofar as they are inconsistent with this Act. They direct that Standing Orders be amended in terms of this Act with immediate effect.