Accessing central support
The staff - about 200 in the Church of Scotland national offices at 121 George street, Edinburgh and another sixty or so in CrossReach at Charis House (and a few other places in Scotland too) - are employed to support and serve congregations and presbyteries in the wider Church. If office bearers have a Church question, they can get an answer from the staff at the national offices.
Sources of information and support
From data protection to food hygiene, from voting rules for Kirk Sessions to pensions for organists, from hall lets to accounts preparation: where on earth do you start to get the information you need? And how do you get it simply and quickly when you have other things to do in your congregational life as well as in your life and service in the wider world? The answer is, usually, to look first at the published sources of information:
- The Church of Scotland website
The most up-to-date and comprehensive is the Church of Scotland website. It is worth your while to spend time browsing the site and bookmarking the pages that cover topics which are particularly relevant for you, whether that be safeguarding, ecumenical resources, dealing with the media or paying your Ministries and Mission contributions. Don’t forget to share that information with new office-bearers when they come on board.
- The Church of Scotland Yearbook
You may also find relevant information in the Church of Scotland Yearbook, published annually; it contains useful information on the vacancy process, for example.
- The Church of Scotland national offices
If you cannot easily find the information you need from these sources, then call the national offices on 0131 225 5722 during normal office hours.
- The contact form
You can use the contact form, if it is after hours or you want to take time to frame your question carefully.
Remember CrossReach too. They are very keen to offer advice and support to congregational office-bearers engaged in the direct provision of care. So, if you are running a lunch club or a dementia project, then get in touch on 0131 657 2000 or here.
- The Council of Assembly
When you as office bearers need to get not just information but reassurance and support to carry them through the times of difficulty in local congregations when, for example, relationships break down, you could get in touch with the Secretary to the Council of Assembly or the Principal Clerk at the Church Offices. We should be able to put you in touch with the right person to help. Your congregation may also be able to access Place for Hope, a Church-supported charity that helps congregations navigate conflict and manage difficult conversations.