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Notes on Argyll Presbytery Meeting 6th September 2022

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

As Representative Elder, on behalf of the congregation of Colonsay and Oronsay, I attended the meeting of Argyll Presbytery held in Tarbert Village Hall on 6th September 2022. This was a hybrid meeting, with a substantial number of Presbyters joining by Zoom. It was the first time Presbytery had met in person for ordinary business since March 2020.

This report covers only on those items that are of direct relevance to us on Colonsay.

Communion Service

The meeting began with the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, during which I was asked to read the Gospel passage (Matthew 20: 1-16) in Gaelic.

Presbytery Reform

The Church of Scotland is seeking to reduce substantially the number of its presbyteries. Talks are underway to include Argyll in a ‘super-presbytery' covering the whole of the Highlands and Islands except for Orkney and Shetland. To reflect the area's Gaelic heritage, it is proposed that the name of the new presbytery shall be ‘Clèir Eilean Ì – Highlands and Hebrides'. Clèir Eilean Ì means ‘Presbytery of Iona'.

Because the new presbytery will cover such a huge area, it is intended to have ‘clusters' of parishes at a more local level. It is likely that one cluster will cover roughly the current Presbytery of Argyll – so perhaps not as much change as we might think.

Presbytery Mission Plan

This is the reorganisation of parishes within the present Presbytery of Argyll. Several Bases of Union and Bases of Linking were approved by Presbytery, including our own linkage with the newly united parish of Netherlorn. [The Basis of Linking was subsequently approved unanimously by our own congregation on 13 September.]

Mission Committee events

Four ‘events' are to be held to help congregations and ministers develop ideas for extending the Church's mission in their own localities. The first will be on Thursday 3 November, at 11 a.m. by Zoom. More details nearer the time.

Local Church Review

We have been given advance notice that Colonsay and Oronsay is one of the parishes to be subject to a Local Church Review in the course of the next few months. This is intended to review how the church is doing, and identify any areas that need attention. We have every reason to believe that our congregation is in good heart and doing well at present, and we hope the visitors from the Superintendence Committee will agree. No date has been set.

Safeguarding training (via Zoom) is to be provided for local church leaders. [This is currently being pursued via our Interim Moderator. Unfortunately a session already arranged for Netherlorn is not on a suitable date for our own office-bearers.]

Alastair M. Scouller, 16.09.22

Further info on any of the above available from

Alastair Scouller, Representative Presbytery Elder COPC. alastair.scouller[at]gmail.com

Colonsay Parish Church is a registered charity SC031271

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