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Act 29, 1978 (XXIX) – Act anent Quinquennial Visitation. 24th May 1978. (As amended by Act 16, 1983 (XVI) – Act anent Quinquennial Visitation (Amending Act XXIX, 1978))

The General Assembly ordain that Presbyteries shall resume the practice of quinquennial visitation of all charges within their bounds as from May, 1979. So that this may be accomplished in an orderly fashion Presbyteries shall prepare a five-year programme which will be submitted to their Provincial Synods in April 1979 and approved by them. Annually thereafter, Presbyteries shall report on their carrying out of the programme approved and a note of this shall be made in the Synod’s minutes and be scrutinised by the Assembly’s examining committee and by them reported to the Assembly.

Besides acquainting themselves with the data available in Statistical and Triennial Returns, Presbyteries shall show interest in the following and such other topics as they shall deem proper without adopting an inquisitorial attitude.

(1) The general spiritual health of congregations, with reference to the current of Church attendance, interest in prayer meetings and the vitality of family religion.

(2) The diligence of ministers and office-bearers in the oversight of their congregations – the frequency of visitation – specific arrangements for contact with the housebound: Contact with schools hospitals or eventide homes in the community.

(3) The specific endeavours of congregations to reach out to those not directly interested in public services.

(4) The condition of congregational properties and the provision of useful aids for the interest and comfort of young and old.

(5) The efforts being made to phase-out Finance Committees in favour of Deacons’ Courts in accordance with Assembly legislation.

(6) The efforts made by Deacons’ Courts to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses to their ministers in terms of Act XII 1978, particularly in the case of Consolidated Charges where a car is used.