The Kirk Session at Ferryhill Parish Church comprises men and women who regularly meet together to provide leadership for the congregation, with a particular emphasis on the spiritual and pastoral care of the congregation and parish. The members of the Kirk Session are ordained to this office. This ordination is for life, though elders may retire from active service!
Meetings of the Kirk Session are chaired or moderated by the Moderator of the Kirk Session. This is usually the minister or, during a vacancy, the interim moderator. The Kirk Session and minister work closely together to plan for the present and future and ensure that the work that is undertaken fits the mission of Christ's Church in the parish.
One of the members of the Kirk Session is appointed by the Session to carry out the duties of Session Clerk. The Session Clerk prepares the minutes of meetings, deals with correspondence and ensures that all church documentation is well maintained.
The Kirk Session also appoint a Treasurer to maintain a record of the finances of the congregation, which has always been important but even more so today when charity law has to be adhered to carefully.
Kirk Session Responsibilities
The responsibilities of the Kirk Session include:
- concern for the spiritual welfare not just of the congregation but also of the parish as a whole;
- the provision of church services;
- concern for the organisational life of the congregation;
- the need to maintain good order, administer discipline, judge and determine cases, and see that Assembly legislation is observed;
- judging the fitness of those who desire to receive the Sacraments;
- maintain both a Baptismal Roll and a Communion Roll;
- appointment of one of its number to represent it in Presbytery.
- maintenance and insurance of the properties of the congregation;
- preparation and distribution to members of the congregation an annual budget;
- encouragement of a level of liberality to meet budget requirements;
- level of salaries of church officials, and prepare contracts of employment;
- appointment of the Treasurer, Organist, Church Caretaker, Church Administrator, and any other employees agreed to be necessary;
- payment of salaries of Church officials and other expenses of the congregation;
- meeting of the Ministries and Mission allocations;
- raising of additional funds, if need be, subject to the approval of the Presbytery, (where the funds are to pay for extraordinary repairs or improvements, the approval of the General Assembly's Committee on Parish Appraisal and of the General Trustees is also required);
- church funds to ensure they are used exclusively for Church of Scotland purposes unless specially raised or donated for other purposes;
- acceptance of loans only if repayment can be assured;
- termination of contracts of employment;
- keeping of the Congregational Accounts in a form that shows income and expenditure, assets and liabilities;
- proper auditing of the Accounts of the congregation and its organisations;
- arranging for the Stated Annual Meeting;
- submission of the audited accounts, after approval by the trustees of the congregation, to the relevant authorities.