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Notes on Argyll Presbytery Meeting 1st March 2022

Points which might be of interest and of relevance to the church in Colonsay and Oronsay.

Presbytery met again via Zoom with approximately 75 people attending.

Rev Liz Gibson, a previous Interim Moderator and Locum for Colonsay and Oronsay and now minister of North Mull, will be the next Moderator of the Argyll Presbytery.

Assessor Elders. Following the Induction and Admission of new elders in Colonsay and Oronsay the Assessor Elders will be withdrawn by Presbytery.

Treasurer's Report. Since Presbytery funds are in a healthy state due to reduced expenditure during lockdown, for this year only all Presbytery dues will be halved.

Presbytery Planning. Some congregations have not yet returned their AMBA forms and the Presbytery Clerk has offered to help any congregations needing help to complete them. Decisions will be made by 121 about which church buildings are to be kept on the basis of these forms and the Presbytery Plan cannot move forward until this has happened. Most Kirk Sessions have already been consulted on the proposed changes but the priority has been to consult with vacant congregations in the first instance. It is envisaged that there will area consultations with congregations on the revised plan and there will be a Presbytery day conference in late May or early June to finalise the plan.

Presbytery Reform. There was discussion and clarification about the paper which had been circulated from the Highland and Islands Transition Team (HITT) and then a vote was taken. The majority vote was for one single Presbytery. The arguments for this is that there will be more money available for employment of staff and also that is likely the direction of travel in the future with possibly 4 Presbyteries for the whole of Scotland. Another vote was taken on the option of dividing the area into two or three Presbyteries with two Presbyteries having the majority vote. All the other presbyteries in the rural northwest will be voting also so the final outcome won't be known for some time and we may not get our first choice.

Inspection of records will happen in person this year on Wednesday 27 th April

Mission Committee have been charged to come up with a strategy for Mission to Youth and the under 40s by April 30th. The new Presbytery plan will not be complete until this is in place. It is thought that there might be a place for innovation in the rapidly growing Dunbeg area which has its own church building. Ecumenical working with the under 40s is anticipated. More Faith in Community funding funding will be available for suitable projects.

Review of the Discipline Act. A recent need to follow this procedure followed by a complaint has caused considerable distress to those most closely involved. The document under discussion addressed the procedural difficulties and issues to be taken up with 121 about possible changes to the law with the intention that some of those difficulties would not arise in the future. Following this there was heartfelt concern that nothing was being done to address the damage incurred by innocent parties now. This seemed to be legally insurmountable but after some considerable time and goodwill on many sides a way forward was found to provide some mediation to begin this process.

Further info on any of the above available from

Myra Waddell, Representative Presbytery Elder COPC. myrawaddell1@btinternet.com

Colonsay Parish Church is a registered charity SC031271

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