Over 80 congregations in the Church of Scotland have benefited from the services of interim ministry, spanning over 25 years.
A national team of Interim and Transition ministers provide specialist ministry support for local congregations and Presbyteries. Whilst these ministries serve collectively as one team, there are distinct difference between each of these ministries as detailed in this table.
Most specifically, an Interim Minister will usually be deployed to a placement for up to 2 years, whereas a Transition Minister is recruited to a placement for 3 to 5 years. The duration of each of these is dependant on the local need and is closely monitored by Faith Action and Presbytery. Interim and Transition Ministers are employed by Faith Action.
All Interim and Transition Ministers are highly experienced Church of Scotland Parish Ministers who are trained in change and mediation and bring a wealth of skills to their role. This gives them the insight to be able to work effectively with congregations and presbyteries, delivering the changes required.
Making an Application
Applications for both Interim and Transition Ministers are made by the Presbytery, on behalf of congregation(s).When considering making an enquiry for either an Interim or Transition Minister, it is recommended that a named lead from the Presbytery completes the Application Form and then submits it to the central offices for further discussion. Applications and enquiries should be sent to – InterimTransitionEnquieries@churchofscotland.org.uk
As all Interim and Transition Ministries will vary in local contexts, desired outcomes and other factors, each enquiry is thoroughly discussed by Faith Action staff and Presbytery, to determine an appropriate course of action and to discuss the process once an application is submitted.
Given the broad range of situations where an Interim or Transition Ministry may apply, this page is therefore only intended to be a summary of introduction information. A member of the Faith Action staff will be happy to receive and discuss any further queries.
Where we've been
Here are some comments from congregations who have recently had, or still have, an Interim Minister deployed with them:
"The time spent in Interim Ministry has given us a breathing space and the chance to sort out in a measured way problems that had arisen. It has also given us new insight into other ways of worship and of working and prepared us for moving forward to settled ministry once more. We are exceedingly grateful to the national church for that opportunity."
"For many of us Interim Ministry was an unknown quantity, something to be feared or viewed with suspicion, a threat to our Church life as we knew it, but we quickly realised that it was an opportunity worth grabbing with both hands. The considerable benefit of an Interim Minister for both the congregation and Session is having an independent, impartial, and highly experienced minister to lead, encourage, and support us, and yet the Interim Minister was not a distant and indifferent stranger, but someone who joined with us, became one of us, a friend on our journey. We were challenged to think again about our objectives and to identify our priorities for work in our church and community, and this gave us a clearer and shared purpose, a purpose which we continue to pursue after the Interim Minister has left us."
"I think Interim Ministry has been a positive experience for our Church. It has given people in the congregation, who were upset about past issues, an opportunity to voice their feelings and feel listened to. Also, I feel our Interim Minister really cares about what is happening in our Church and wants to help the congregation move forward together. Interim Ministry has provided our Church with the planned structures and processes which have been helpful to individuals and the wider congregation. I think the skills of our minister have been significant in making the period of Interim Ministry so positive."