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Act 30, 1976 (XXX) – Act anent Finance Committees. 21st May 1976.

The General Assembly noting that Finance Committees exist in many congregations without the benefit of formal legislative recognition enact that the following regulations shall apply to the appointment and duties of Finance Committees:

(1) In ordinary circumstances a congregational finance committee shall be appointed only in the absence of a sufficient number of suitably qualified male members whose names are on the congregational roll and who are willing to accept office as deacons after being duly elected by the congregation.

(2) The necessity for appointing a finance committee and the number of its members should be determined by the Kirk Session in the same manner as they decide upon the appointment of office-bearers.

(3) Election should be by the congregation, preferably annually, on the recommendation of the Kirk Session.

(4) The Finance Committee shall undertake to discharge all the duties normally discharged by a Deacons’ Court, in whose place they shall be called upon to express formally their opinion on all matters affecting the financial obligations of the congregation, or the oversight of congregational property, requiring decisions by the General Assembly, its Commission or a Court of the Church. They shall, “mutatis mutandis” observe the general rules of procedure applicable to a Deacons’ Court and enjoy the same immunity as that Court provided they observe the laws of the Church. In particular they appoint a Clerk and minutes of all meetings shall be kept and engrossed in a permanent record when approved, and the record shall be submitted annually along with the Treasurer’s books to the Presbytery for examination.

(5) When the Kirk Session is of opinion that altered circumstances admit of an adequate number of suitably qualified male members whose names are on the congregational communion roll being elected to form a deacons’ court, and that the time has come when this might be harmoniously accomplished, they shall proceed accordingly in terms of the regulations, it being understood that the Finance Committee’s term of office shall end on the date of the first meeting of the newly elected Deacons’ Court.

(6) The General Assembly expressly state that no section of the foregoing legislation confers the status of office-bearer on members of Finance Committees. These Committees are recognised only as temporary expedients which should be replaced in terms of the preceding paragraph: as temporary expedients they do not rank as Church Courts.