The Kirk Session

The Kirk Session met on 7 December 2015 with 57 members attending. The following issues were discussed.

Worship: A busy schedule of church services was taking place in December, including Nine Lessons in Carols, Watchnight and Christmas Day services. Messy Church continued to attract strong support. Concern was raised about the Local authority’s decision to sell Bonnyton House Care Home.

Outreach: Continuing support was noted for the work of the Lodging House Mission with a donation of over £1300 from the Harvest Appeal. As in previous years, Christmas Cards were on sale. More helpers and donations of food were still needed for the North East Foodbank, which had fed over 3000 people in its second year, a 76% increase on the previous year – if you can help, please contact Hilary Carswell or Alex Howie or leave donations at the church.

The Clarkston Community Choir was rehearsing for a Christmas concert – if you would like to join the Choir which meets on a Wednesday from at 9.30pm please contact Richard Scholfield.

The Treasurer updated our financial position. Offerings had decreased by 1% in the period to 22nd November. Contributions from church organisations had increased, with recent donations from the 1st Clarkston Brownies, 2nd Clarkston Rainbows, Boys Brigade, Colour Circle and Friendship Café. Income was being generated from external organisations, including new contributions from Clarkston After School Care and the Community Choir. Tax receipts from Gift Aid had increased substantially and the Treasurer thanked Ian Henderson for his tireless work in this connection. Fabric expenditure was less planned, with a number of projects deferred, resulting in this year’s accounts likely to show a surplus. It was expected that fabric expenditure would increase in 2016 due to the need to catch up with essential repairs and maintenance and to replace the church boilers. The forecast for 2016 indicated a deficit in of over £20,000.

Fabric: The Kirk Session approved the removal of waste bins from the main halls for a six month trial period to reduce the church officer’s workload and to improve hygiene. Organisations would be asked to place recyclable items in the bins provided outside the Cowley Hall and general rubbish in black bags in the bins outside the Link Building. The Health and Safety Policy had been updated thanks to our Health and Safety Officer, Colin McAughtrie. Statutory and
essential maintenance work continued to be a substantial part of the Property Budget and to take up considerable time for the Property Committee. Neil Scholfield had resigned from the Property Committee and thanks were expressed for his hard work. There was an urgent need for an additional member, with facilities management experience, to join the Property Committee – if you can help, please contact Stephen Blanchflower, Property Convenor.

Fellowship: The lunch club continued to flourish – if you know of anyone who would like to attend but requires transport, please contact Jan Millar.
A number of social events had been held including the highly popular Ladies Night and the Greenbank Film Society film nights. The Christmas fair had raised over £3,000. Thanks were expressed to the organisers of these activities for their hard work.

Youth: Reports were received from: the 1st Clarkston Guides which has 34 guides and 4 young leaders and 4 adult leaders; the Rainbow Guides which has a huge waiting list; the Boys Brigade where the number of Anchor Boys has risen and the Junior & Company Sections have maintained consistent numbers, and all sections have a full programme of events; and the Sunday Club which meets on a Sunday Morning and covers ages 0-16 though the Creche, Mini Trailblazers, Sunday Squad and JAM.

Elders: The admission of 6 new elders on the 3rd of January was approved – see elsewhere for details. Requests from Joyce McMeeking, Douglas Paterson and Walter Wilson to be placed on the retired list of elders were approved; the Moderator paid tribute for their years of service and thanked them for their valued work in the church.

General Assembly: Approval was given to the offer from Graham Roddick to be a Commissioner to the 2016 General Assembly.

Elder District Visiting: Elders normally visit members in their district three times a year shortly before communion. A discussion took place about whether such visits were an outmoded concept and if models being adopted by other churches provided a better means of maintaining contact with members. It
was agreed that we should continue elders’ visits and consider the formation of a review group. -if you have views or suggestions please let your elder know.

Other Matters:
An appeal was made for the names of anyone requiring an audio recording of Good Neighbour to be passed to Douglas Paterson. Under ECO matters the Kirk Session agreed to cease the provision of paper cups, to encourage groups to use china cups and mugs, and to investigate the installation of sensor lights in the halls. Bill Allan advised that the Kirk Session coffee morning would be held on 19th March 2016. Liz Allan asked for male volunteers to assist with visits to Eastwoodhill. Permission was granted by the Kirk Session to send pre 1976 records to the Mitchell Library.

(Please speak to your elder if you would like further information on any of the above.)


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