You may have been aware of some newspaper articles recently referring to changes within the Church of Scotland which may result in a number of churches having to link, unite and even close, and naturally this has caused a certain amount of unrest. So I would like to just give a brief update on what is actually going on at this time.
The General Assembly has instructed Presbyteries to engage in a revised from of presbytery planning, known as Presbytery Mission Planning. Each Presbytery has been instructed, by 31 December 2022, to prepare, and have approved by Faith Nurture Forum and General Trustees, a Presbytery Mission Plan, setting out how presbytery intends to carry out the mission of the Church within its bounds.
In preparing this plan, each Presbytery must take account of a reduction in the number of Full Time Equivalent Ministries (FTE), which will be financed by Faith Nurture Forum. The present FTE allocation to the Presbytery of Dunkeld and Meigle is 11.3. However, this will be reduced to 6.5 by 31 December 2025, which, as you can see, represents a significant reduction. At the moment Presbytery is considering how we will achieve this and consultation papers have been sent to our Kirk Sessions for them to respond to by June.
However, please note that any changes recommended by Presbytery will not affect the current tenure or status of any Minister currently serving in post within our Presbytery.
Running alongside all of this is the merger of Presbyteries within Scotland, a process that has already taken place in some areas. For us here this will mean our Presbytery of Dunkeld and Meigle merging with the Presbyteries of Perth, Stirling, Angus and Dundee. The new Presbytery – the Presbytery of Perth as it will be known – should be in place by the beginning of January 2023 and again discussions as to how all this will work are well advanced and an overture to this effect should go to the General Assembly this May.
I hope this is of some help and I will of course keep you updated as we progress through all of this. However, if anyone does have any questions or any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.