Service Departments

Learn more about the departments that operate from the National Office and the many services and capabilities they offer.

Introduction from the Chief Officer

Chief Officer Dave Kendall.

This report provides a summary of the services and capabilities that are available from the National Office of the Church of Scotland. We are here primarily to support the local church and enable the Assembly Trustees to fulfil their overall governance, co-ordination and reporting function for the Church, which is one of the largest charitable organisations in Scotland. This Service and Capability Statement is another step towards raising awareness of the services that are available to support you.

We have published it because there is a gap in understanding of what is available to our congregations, Presbyteries and others we interact with. We also hope it will start to address the question that is often asked: "What does everyone do over at 121?"

Since I started as Chief Officer I have discovered that the National Office has a very impressive range of talent, experience and skills. However, I can honestly say that I was unaware of this as an elder and proactive Church member who had on occasion tried to track down the right person at the centre to give me advice or support. This will help guide you towards where these important contacts can be made. The Phase 1 Service and Capability Statement covers the following areas:

  • Information Technology
  • Safeguarding
  • Communication
  • Stewardship & Finance
  • The Law Department
  • Human Resources
  • Central Properties and Facilities Management
  • Pensions
  • Faith Nurture Education and Training Programme

We really hope that you will find this helpful and would welcome your comments and feedback to improve this further. Phase 2 will cover Faith Nurture and Faith Impact.

Dave Kendall

Chief Officer, Church of Scotland

The Office of the Assembly Trustees

The Office of the Assembly Trustees, through the Chief Officer, provides executive leadership to the work of the Assembly Trustees. With overall operational responsibility for Central Services Committee (CSC) employees and budgets, the Chief Officer is accountable to the Trustees for the effective and efficient organisational implementation of vision, strategy and policy as determined by the Trustees and the General Assembly.

Housed within the department are a number of other functions, including audit, research and analysis, grants unit, estates, programmes plus health and safety. The Department has been undergoing a redesign as part of the implementation of the Special Commission on Structural Reform (2019) outcomes. All operational Heads of Department report to the Chief Officer.

The Office of the General Assembly, General Trustees, Pensions, Housing and Loan Fund and The Church of Scotland Guild report into separate bodies although staff within these departments are employed by the CSC.

Health & Safety

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Internal departments and forums
  • Employees of the Central Services Committee (CSC)
  • Employees of Faith Nurture Forum – including field based ministries development staff (MDS) and employed ministry posts

Service Provision:

Further details regarding service provision available on request

  • Development, implementation and management of the health & safety policy to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and its supporting legislation
  • Support to all staff employed by CSC, including field based staff, in relation to new start inductions; workstation risk assessments; lone working risk assessments etc
  • Provision of core and job-specific health and safety training
  • Preparation of risk assessments, including provide guidance to staff requiring to carry these out

Capabilities, Skills and Experience

Professional designations and areas of specialism include:

  • Technical Member of the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (Tech IOSH)
  • NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety
  • Preparation and implementation of health and safety protocols, including policy
  • Undertaking employee and activity risk assessments
  • Development of health and safety training modules
  • Undertaking health and safety audits and accident/incident investigations
  • Liaison with professional advisors and contractors

IT Department

The in-house IT Department, comprising a team of 11, is based within George Street providing a range of services to staff and office holders of the Church of Scotland. CrossReach is serviced by a separate IT department.

Services Currently Provided to:

Full support for hardware and software to:

  • All George Street staff (Church of Scotland)
  • Church of Scotland Insurance Services
  • General Assembly
  • Priority Areas Glasgow office staff
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre
  • Presbytery clerks

Provision and support of email alone to:

  • Church of Scotland ministers
  • Other applicable parties

Service Provision:

  • Security: provision, administration and monitoring including firewalls, anti-virus protection and ransomware filtering
  • Hardware: provision, configuration and administration of computers, databases, file and application servers
  • Applications: development and support for in-house applications, support for third-party applications
  • Office 365: administration and support for range of products
  • Telephony: administration and provision of landlines and mobile phones
  • Wi-Fi: provision across national offices, GA building and Scottish Storytelling Centre
  • IT Helpdesk
  • Purchasing: software and hardware
  • Website domain names: administration
  • Video conference facilities (national office alone): provision and administration
  • Leased line internet access: administration in national offices
  • Administration of CIS records: e.g. office bearers
  • IT asset management
  • Pool hardware provision

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

Specific technical skills within the team include:


  • Windows 7 and 10 configuration and support
  • Windows Server 2008, 2016 and 2019 configuration, administration and support
  • Exchange configuration, administration, support and monitoring
  • Group policy configuration, administration and support
  • IIS administration and configuration
  • Office 365 administration, support and monitoring
  • Active Directory configuration, administration and support
  • SQL Server configuration and administration

Application Development

  • ASP.Net
  • C#
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • SQL
  • VB.Net
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio

Systems and other Support

  • Cisco: Configuration, administration and monitoring of network switches, wireless access points and firewalls
  • Veeam data backup configuration, administration and monitoring
  • Darktrace configuration, administration and monitoring
  • Samsung switchboard configuration and administration
  • Nutanix configuration of virtual servers hosting applications and data
  • PRTG network monitoring
  • PDQ asset management and software distribution
  • Mobile device management monitoring and mobile phone security
  • VPN configuration and monitoring to provide secure access to the national offices and to externally hosted services (HR/Payroll)

Safeguarding Service

The Safeguarding Service provides safeguarding advice and training to Church of Scotland congregations, presbyteries, committees and forums (including CrossReach) on matters of child and adult protection and wellbeing. The service works closely with internal and external stakeholders.

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Presbyteries and presbytery safeguarding contact
  • Congregations
  • Safeguarding co-ordinators
  • Safeguarding trainers
  • Safeguarding panel
  • Agencies/committees of the Church
  • Departments of national office
  • CrossReach service
  • Boys Brigade (external partner)
  • United Reformed Church in Scotland (external partner)

Joint work with:

  • Members of the public
  • Survivors of abuse
  • Police
  • Social work services
  • Health
  • Disclosure Scotland
  • Volunteer Scotland, Disclosure Services
  • Scottish International Development Alliance
  • Scottish Churches Committee

Service Provision:

  • Provision of advice in relation to safe recruitment, safeguarding issues and safe working practices
  • Production of safeguarding policy/procedure/guidance
  • Contributing to critical incidents and learning reviews
  • Risk assessments in relation to conviction and vetting information, management of identified risk through covenants of responsibilities
  • Training to kirk sessions, safeguarding panel, safeguarding co-ordinators, CrossReach staff and volunteers, Ministers, Forces Chaplains
  • Criminal records checks (processing of PVGs in Scotland and DBS checks for congregations in England and Channel Islands, and ensuring appropriate overseas checks are carried out)
  • ‘Train the trainer' accreditation and ongoing support and advice to the presbytery trainer, provision of training materials to congregations, presbyteries etc. Arranging annual conference for trainers, safeguarding co-ordinators and invited guests
  • Provision of written advice on specific instances as they arise
  • Support to relevant bodies during criminal and other enquiries
  • Support learning and development with appropriate safeguarding materials and training for staff
  • Managing safeguarding referrals and providing advice/support

Safeguarding Service oversight

The Safeguarding Service is overseen by the Solicitor of the Church and is governed by a Safeguarding Committee which is made up of a number of volunteers with varying professional backgrounds.

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

Members of the Safeguarding team include the Team Manager who has oversight of all areas of the Safeguarding Service, including prevention, advice, responding to referrals, safe recruitment including criminal record checks via PVG and DBS, managing those who pose a risk and safeguarding training. The service provides safeguarding advice to CrossReach services which are subject to regulatory inspection by the Care Inspectorate in Scotland. A safeguarding officer takes the lead in managing those who pose a risk in congregations of the Church through providing advice to congregations, staff and members of the public.

Safeguarding officers also provide adult support and protection training to congregations and other services where a service level agreement (SLA) is in place. A safeguarding training officer is responsible for supporting or delivering safeguarding training to congregations and other services, in addition to providing advice to congregations, staff and members of the public. Further members of the team include a safeguarding advisor, administration co-ordinator and a number of administrators.

Skills and prior experience within the team include:

  • Qualified social worker with 25 years' experience in the areas of public protection work (Child Protection, Criminal Justice services) who previously managed social work teams and, in particular, areas of operational service provision in a local authority setting, e.g. child protection team co-located with Police Scotland and NHS, chair of multi-agency child protection case conferences, fostering and adoption and residential services, and children with disabilities service
  • Current professional registration with the Scottish Social Services Council
  • Accredited Safeguarding qualifications (BA and DipSW in Social Work, Postgraduate Certificate in Child Welfare and Protection) and leadership and management qualifications
  • Trained in child and adult protection and in wellbeing, domestic abuse, multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA)
  • Retired police officer with over 30 years' service in the Scottish Police Forces with experience of working in the public protection arena, particularly in areas of child protection, training, and management of the sex offender register
  • Social worker with professional registration with the Scottish Social Services Council and experience of investigative adult protection work
  • Holder of an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice, LLB (Bachelor of Law) and Bachelor of Corporate Law with Legal French

The Communications Department

The Communications Department provides a broad range of services designed to help the Church to communicate effectively with the public, promote its activities and build a positive reputation and public image. Communications staff endeavour to influence the media to represent the organisation in a positive way and to share its key messages with the public. Answering media enquiries for the Church of Scotland from local, national and international newspapers and broadcast outlets is a key area of responsibility for the media team, including delivering a crisis communications response when required, and providing an on-call, out-of-hours service.

The Communications team also creates content for the media and for social media and responds to enquiries from journalists, key stakeholders and the public about the activities of the Church of Scotland and its people. The department's in-house design team manages all the organisation's brand collateral and helps ensure we can communicate coherently across a range of visual platforms. The department engages with local and national politicians on a range of social policy issues and stakeholder events, and supports all the communication requirements for the Church's major initiatives, including fundraising activities, throughout the year. In addition, the web team plays an integral role in ensuring we can deliver effective services and information through our website.

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Agencies/committees of the Church
  • Departments of the National Office
  • Congregations
  • Presbyteries
  • Support with interfaith and ecumenical work

Service Provision:

  • Providing strategic communications advice
  • Alerting the organisation to potential reputational risks and advising on communications strategies
  • Crisis communications
  • Reputation management
  • Acting as spokespeople for the Church on a range of complex issues
  • Writing features and statements for the news media
  • Responding to media enquiries within tight deadlines
  • Crafting press releases and event ‘calling notices'
  • Creating social media content
  • Producing news video updates
  • Managing the communications around events
  • Advising on how to gain positive publicity
  • Interviewing skills
  • Media training
  • Social media training
  • Support for Church people who are featured in the news
  • Reviewing and editing content to ensure clarity and consistency of messaging
  • Identifying key messaging issues
  • Proofreading and plain English sense-checking
  • Research and support to understand what works for our audiences in terms of good communications
  • Magazine production
  • Management of enterprise-level websites
  • Web development and web editing
  • Best practice advice on communications issues including for print, web and social media activities.
  • Managing the Church's visual identity through expertise in brand management, professional print production and procurement practises on behalf of councils/departments
  • Design and production of print resources including books, brochures, magazines, banners, posters etc.
  • Design and production of graphic resources including campaign graphics, website graphics, infographics, illustration, presentation graphics
  • Photographic work and directly commissioned photography
  • Provision of a business stationary webstore
  • Managing and archiving an image bank
  • Oversight of print/production/mailing procurement in line with Church governance policy
  • Creative contribution given to both customer-facing and internal Church communications

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

The Communications team has extensive experience working in the public, private and third sector, delivering professional communications advice, support and service delivery. The department is composed of the media team (5.0 FTE), design team with two senior graphic designers (1.5 FTE) and a web developer and web editor (2.0 FTE).

Stewardship and Finance Department

The Stewardship and Finance Department provides advice to congregations and accounting services to the Church's internal departments and forums and its statutory corporations: General Trustees, Investors Trust, Church of Scotland Trust and the Pension Trustees. The department also acts as the interface with the financial regulatory authorities (including HMRC, the Pension Regulator etc ). The Stewardship section is headed by a team leader supported by four stewardship consultants who are a dedicated resource to work alongside congregations.

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Internal departments and forums
  • Congregations
  • Unincorporated entities
  • Presbyteries
  • Third party trusts

Service Provision:

Further details regarding service provision available on request (note: detailed excel spreadsheet)

  • Advice and Training: financial accounting, VAT, PAYE, Gift Aid etc.
  • Management Accounting: provision of management accounts, budgets and forecasts by department and forum
  • Improving Accountability through business partnering
  • Strategy: financial strategy, risk assessment, change management etc.
  • Project Appraisal: risk management and viability assessments
  • Stewardship: congregations programmes, sourcing external funds, teaching and resourcing stewardship etc.
  • Payroll:
    • payroll service provided for designated employees and ministers, pensioners, and presbytery clerks
    • payroll service for presbytery clerks and other presbytery staff
    • payroll service for congregations employing locums
  • Advice and training: to treasurers on accounting, Gift Aid
  • Operational Accounting: statutory accounts preparation, asset registers etc.
  • Regulatory and Compliance: internal financial controls and policies, OSCR returns, Gift Aid and other tax returns, Insurance, independent examinations etc.
  • Treasury: payments, receipts, holding investment funds etc.
  • Resourcing the Church: calculation and issue of M&M, amendments during the year, resourcing new initiatives, servicing committees
  • Legacies and Trusts: legacy administration, trust distribution and trust accounts
  • Advice and training: to probationer ministers and newly ordained (first five years) ministers

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

The team comprises a total of seven qualified accountants who work along with part-qualified accountants, experienced support staff and stewardship consultants. Each senior member of staff will have differing specialisms and across the team these will include:

  • Management accounting
  • Payroll
  • Pension Scheme accounting
  • Charity accounting and legislation
  • Ability to deliver training sessions
  • Investment accounting
  • VAT
  • Gift Aid
  • PAYE

In addition, there is experience of investment administration and reporting (within the Investors Trust) and of the theology of stewardship, fundraising and sources of finance (within the Stewardship team).

The Law Department

The in-house Law Department was established in 1938 following a decision of the General Assembly and since then has provided advice and assistance to the Church wherever it has a presence. The department deals with a wide range of legal matters for presbyteries, congregations and the employing agencies and other departments of the Church of Scotland (including CrossReach). The department deals with civil law matters and wider structural, policy and organisational issues as they affect the Church. Most of the advice offered is free of charge, although where a fee is charged (e.g. in property sales and purchases) terms of engagement letters are issued. The service is not profit-making and all fees received help to subsidise the cost of the department, enabling the continued provision of free legal advice to all congregations at the point of need. The department provides a large selection of online resources primarily aimed at congregations and presbyteries. These range from general guidance notes on specific topics to style contracts and documents and can be found in the ‘Resources' section of the Church website.

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Congregations
  • Presbyteries
  • Assembly Trustees
  • Internal departments and forums
  • CrossReach
  • The Church of Scotland General Trustees
  • The Church of Scotland Trust
  • The Housing and Loan Fund
  • The Solicitor of the Church acts as the Law Agent of the General Assembly
  • Other external parties including liaison with Scottish Government bodies and the Scottish Charity Register.
  • Third Party Trusts

Service Provision:

Advice is given on every kind of issue which congregations and other Church bodies may face, including:

  • Charity law and governance
  • Church and manse sales and purchases
  • Contracts
  • Copyright
  • Data protection
  • Debt recovery
  • Employment matters (including tribunal representation)
  • Estate agency
  • Food hygiene legislation
  • Health and safety law
  • Leases-residential and commercial
  • Licensing
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Mobile phone masts
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Planning law
  • Property law
  • Residential sales and purchases
  • Safeguarding matters
  • Trusts and executries

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

The Solicitor of the Church is the Head of the Law Department which comprises 11 Scottish qualified solicitors, each with many years of experience and particular specialist areas, all holding a current practising certificate from the Law Society of Scotland and admitted as a Notary Public. All worked in private practice prior to joining the Church of Scotland legal department with specialist areas including:

  • Employment law
  • Property law including property sales, purchases and leases, servitudes, title conditions and boundary issues
  • Data protection
  • Charity law and governance including the formation and amalgamation of SCIOs
  • Contracts and procurement
  • Tendering
  • Marketing, sale and purchase of land and buildings
  • Conveyancing of all types and residential and non-residential leasing
  • Crofting
  • Rural property matters (including glebe land)
  • Litigation (including property litigation; landlord and tenant disputes and contractual disputes)
  • Criminal law matters
  • Trusts and executries
  • Foreign property work on behalf of congregations and central committees/councils
  • Applications to OSCR including congregational unions, new charity applications and re-organisations of trusts
  • Health and safety
  • Proceedings under Church legislation and litigation

Additional roles fulfilled by individuals within the Department include:

  • Secretary to the Delegation of Assembly with responsibility for issuing congregational Deeds of Constitution
  • Secretary to the Scottish Churches Committee, an interdenominational body concerned with civil law matters affecting the Churches on which all main Christian denominations in Scotland are represented
  • Secretary to the Church of Scotland Trust
  • Clerk and Treasurer to the Iona Cathedral Trust
  • Secretary to the Discipline Tribunal
  • Secretary to the General Assembly Appeal Group
  • Member of the Scottish Agricultural Arbiters and Valuers Association
  • Member of Law Society of Scotland Property Law Committee

Further members of the department include a dedicated administrative support team led by the PA to the Solicitor of the Church, two part-time legal secretaries, a property assistant and a legal administrator.

The Human Resources Department

The Human Resources Department provides HR advice and assistance to the employing agencies of the Church (with the exception of CrossReach). The department deals with a wide range of generalist employment matters, covering all aspects of HR as well as providing a learning and development function for employed posts.

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Assembly Trustees
  • Employees of the Central Services Committee (CSC)
  • Employees of Ministries Council (MDS, including those placed in presbyteries and employed ministry posts)
  • Employees of World Mission Council
  • Parish ministers or other office holders who are responsible as line managers for any of the employed posts noted above (usually MDS)
  • Forum conveners/vice conveners and members
  • Pension Trustees
  • General Trustees
  • The Guild
  • Housing and Loan Fund

Service Provision:

Advice is given on every kind of employment issue which might arise, including:

  • Resourcing: recruitment and selection
  • Contract and employment documentation
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Employment Law (in partnership with the Law Department)
  • Employee Relations: personal case work
  • Discipline and Grievance
  • HR Policy: development, revision, rollout and application
  • Capability/Poor performance management
  • Special leave: maternity, paternity, adoption etc.
  • Job design, job evaluation and pay benchmarking
  • Reward: annual pay reviews/awards, defined contribution pension scheme, flexible working options, employee benefits
  • People development/Learning and Development function
  • Payroll interface for employed posts
  • Attendance management
  • Induction
  • Appraisals/Performance Development Reviews
  • Management of planned exits: e.g. redundancy

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

The HR team comprises eight (6.6 FTE) team members, six of whom are qualified in Human Resources Management (up to and including master's level) with membership of the professional body, CIPD. They hold skills, capabilities and experience in the following:

  • Leadership development
  • Organisational design and development
  • Change management
  • Coaching/mentoring
  • Mediation
  • Workforce planning including job design, restructuring
  • Employment law
  • Relationship management
  • Project management
  • TUPE
  • Employee data – monitoring and evaluation
  • Recruitment and onboarding
  • Training needs analysis/skills analysis

Central Properties and Facilities Management

NB: The Estates Department is a separate entity from the General Trustees Estates team.

The Facilities Management Department is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Church offices at 121 George Street.

The Central Properties Department provides a professional property and facilities service to a wide client base noted below:

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Internal departments and forums
  • Presbyteries – liaison with presbyteries in relation to operational matters

Service Provision:

Further details regarding service provision available on request

  • Supporting operational needs: planned and reactive maintenance, security, contracts, business continuity etc.
  • Estates: condition surveys, maintenance budgets, asset reviews and disposals etc. and landlord services (for furlough housing)
  • Procurement: landlord services (for furlough housing and other leased property), insurance, tendering support etc.
  • Property: (in relation to the central support departments and forums of the Church and in conjunction with the Law Dept) acquisition and disposal of property; management of existing property (around 40 properties currently); lease agreements; acquisition of sites and support to construction and redevelopment of churches (primarily connected to new charge developments) including feasibility and option appraisals; acting as an expert client for new build developments (churches/ manses/ annexes and extensions to churches/ halls); management; contract documentation; acting as client representative on building contracts; snagging and post-contract issues

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

Across the two teams, professional designations and areas of specialism include:

  • Certified Member of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIHM Cert4)
  • CIH Level 4 National Certificate in Housing (Management and Maintenance)
  • Membership of Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM)
  • Specialist knowledge in the design, construction and maintenance of church buildings
  • Co-ordination of client groups when designing buildings for groups (congregation)
  • Specialist knowledge in the letting of property for short and long-term occupation
  • Tenancy management
  • Specification writing and selection of materials/products
  • Specialist knowledge in general construction
  • Managing statutory testing regimes
  • Managing planned and reactive repair/maintenance regimes
  • Liaison with professional advisors, contractors and property occupiers/congregations
  • Instruction and supervision of contractors
  • Budget and tender management
  • Site inspection
  • Property/site acquisition and disposal in partnership with Law Department
  • Identification of contractors and tender management
  • Contract budget management
  • Accommodation management
  • Environmental management
  • Energy management

Pensions Department

The in-house Pensions Department provides administration for the Final Salary (Defined Benefit) Scheme which closed to accruals in December 2013. The department does not currently deal with the Defined Contribution (DC) Scheme which is the Church's current pension provision. For all enquiries regarding this, please contact the Human Resources Department.

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Scheme Members (pre-1 Jan 2014)
    • Ministers and Mission Partners
    • Ministries development staff (MDS) (formerly Parish and Presbytery Workers PPWs)
    • Central Services Staff (CSC)
    • Social Care Committee (CrossReach scheme)
  • Pension Trustees
  • Employing Agencies:
    • Ministries Council
    • World Mission
    • Central Services Committee
    • Social Care Committee
  • Statutory regulators including the Pensions Regulator (tPR)

Service Provision:

  • Ensuring that all benefits are correctly paid to members on time and when they fall due
  • Delivering a high level of service through established service level standards, which includes providing member quotations as they consider future retirement needs
  • Maintaining contact with members including exercises to proactively contact members to confirm existing details, and by using third party sources to corroborate data veracity
  • Ensuring compliance with all legislation including data protection legislation
  • Ensuring a close link between scheme members and their employer, including considering the risk appetite of the Church as guarantor of the benefits provided by the pension schemes

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

The Pensions Department is staffed by a team of pensions administrators (5 FTE), including the Pensions Manager who provides the secretarial support to the independent Board of Pension Trustees. Pensions Department staff have worked in external pensions environments ranging from large institutions to blue chip companies and third-party administrators. They hold a variety of qualifications including from the Institute of Pension Management (PMI):

  • Fellowship of Pensions Management Institute
  • Retirement Provision Certificate (RPC)
  • Qualified Pensions Administrator (QPA)
  • Chartered Insurance Institute Financial Planning Certificate FP1
  • Chartered Insurance Institute Financial Admin Foundation Certificate FA2 Pensions

Whilst not currently dealing with the Churches Defined Contribution Scheme, a number of staff members have experience of working within the defined contribution environment and of auto-enrolment.

Faith Programme

Faith Nurture Education and Training Team

The Education and Training team are responsible for developing and implementing educational pathways for those accepted into training. Work continues to grow on the Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) programme with a range of in-service and external events, self-directed learning, and a study leave programme.

Services Currently Provided to:

  • Candidates for ministry to all recognised ministries of the Church: full-time word and sacrament, OLM, diaconate and readership
  • Continuing Ministerial Development
  • Ministries development staff (MDS) and MDS line management training
  • Readers in training

Service Provision:

  • Management of training for all recognised ministries of the Church: full-time word and sacrament, OLM, diaconate, readership
  • Academic and funding advice
  • Design and delivery of Church-led ministry training conferences (including those for readers in training)
  • Management of placement scheme
  • Design and delivery of candidate appraisal process and training for supervising ministers and presbytery assessors
  • Design, delivery and management of probation scheme
  • Management of funds including hardship grants
  • Design and delivery of education and support for ministers in the first five years of service
  • Management of study leave scheme
  • Training of ministerial development conversation facilitators
  • Management of ministerial development conversation programme
  • Management of the postgraduate scheme
  • Management of the Ascend website
  • Provision of conference relevant to church leadership and mission
  • Signposting to external training opportunities and conference opportunities relevant to church leadership and mission
  • Line manager training (in-person)
  • Appraisal training (in-person and online) and appraisal process

Team Capabilities, Skills and Experience

The team comprises of a wide range of skill sets and experience including:

  • Ministry leadership
  • University chaplaincy and student leadership
  • Tertiary-level teaching, module design and delivery
  • PhD level research and publications
  • Ecumenical ministry experience
  • Co-active coach

Contacting the Service Departments

In addition to the departmental email addresses, the departments listed in this Services and Capability Statement can be contacted using the following emails and phone numbers. While many of our staff continue to work from home, please use their email address in the first instance:

Office of the Assembly Trustees

Dave Kendall, Chief Officer

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2290

Direct tel: 0131 240 2229; Mobile: 07407 877950

If you have any questions for Dave Kendall, please email

Jackie Collins, Health & Safety Manager

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722

Mobile: 07881 950481

Information Technology



Julie Main, Safeguarding Manager

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2401

Mobile: 07741 194565


Ruth MacLeod, Head of Communications

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2243

Mobile: 07826 526266

Stewardship & Finance

Anne Macintosh, General Treasurer

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2293

Mobile: 07341 866194

The Law Department

Mary Macleod, Solicitor of The Church of Scotland

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2209

Direct tel: 0131 240 2209

The HR Department

Elaine McCloghry, Head of HR

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2280

Direct tel: 0131 276 1592

Central Properties & Facilities Management

Liam Fennell, Head of Estates

Email:; Mobile: 07387 019879

Pensions Department

Jane McLeod

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2351

Direct tel: 0131 240 2255

Faith Programme – Faith Nurture Education and Training Team

Kay Cathcart, Education and Training Secretary

Email:; Switchboard: 0131 225 5722 Ext. 2213

Mobile: 07791 006678