Assembly Business

The Assembly Business Committee (ABC) was formed in 2019, replacing its predecessor, the Assembly Arrangements Committee. Its role is to make all necessary arrangements and to order the business of the General Assembly and Commissions of Assembly. It has oversight and keeps under review the functions, membership and processes and procedures of the General Assembly. The committee operates with three subgroups:

GA Arrangements Group

Working closely with the Principal Clerk, who is secretary to the committee, and the office of the General Assembly staff, the Committee’s GA Arrangements group oversees all the practicalities including preparation of the volume of reports (The Blue Book), timetabling the order of proceedings, audio visual requirements, supporting and advising the Moderator.

Presbytery Development

The group is responsible for oversight of the presbytery restructuring process, communication with presbyteries in matters relating to the General Assembly, and oversight of procedures for presbyteries to report to General Assembly.

Property

The committee's role includes responsibility for the care and maintenance of the Assembly Hall on Edinburgh's historic High Street, and the Moderator’s official residence in Edinburgh's New Town, along with the letting or use of the Assembly Hall.

Membership

  • Convener: Rev Donald McCorkindale
  • Vice Convener: Mrs Susan Pym
  • GA Arrangements Group Convener: Rev Michael Mair
  • Presbytery Development Group Convener: Rev Sheila Kirk
  • Property Group Convener: Dr Graeme Roberts
  • Rev Alison Mehigan
  • Rev Gillian Paterson
  • Mr James Houston
  • Rev Grant Barclay, Convener of Legal Questions Committee
  • Rev Victoria Linford, Legal Questions Committee
  • Moderator and Moderator Designate
  • Principal Clerk and Depute Clerk
  • The Church’s Solicitor, Procurator, and the General Treasurer.

The work of the committee is supported by many including the Assembly Officer and Depute, Chief Steward and Depute, Oscus and Sanctus Media.

General Assembly 2020

In March, the committee had to take the decision to cancel the General Assembly scheduled for May. A Commission of Assembly was able to process some essential business including appointing Rev Dr Martin Fair as Moderator.

In consultation with ABC, Legal Questions Committee (LQC) has called a Commission of Assembly on Tuesday 7 July where commissioners will consider the Legal Questions report and deliverance dealing with vacancy procedure, as well as presbytery and kirk session protocol for remotely accessed meetings. The Principal Clerk will be in touch with presbyteries and commissioners in due course.

ABC and LQC will also hold a remote access General Assembly on 2-3 October at which the remits of the Faith Nurture and Faith Impact forums will be reported, along with annual accounts and other business which should not wait until May 2021. It is anticipated (depending on Scottish Government guidance) that the 2021 General Assembly will convene on Saturday 22 May. Find out more about the General Assembly.

Contact for more information

To get in touch with the committee please email Catherine McIntosh at cmcintosh@churchofscotland.org.uk