Arran Place, Ardrossan, Ayrshire KA22 8DR
Minister: Rev Dorothy Granger
Our services are held in St Andrew's Episcopal Church at 10am
followed by tea and coffee fellowship in the hall.
Download a copy of our Pastoral Care leaflet by clicking here.
I was again a Commissioner to this year’s General Assembly held from 19-25th May 2012. The following report is my summary of the ‘due diligence’ report produced by Mr Stephen Brown (West Kilbride Parish Church) for the Presbytery of Ardrossan.
The General Assembly this year was a friendly, relatively quiet affair, conducted in an atmosphere of praise and worship by the Moderator the Right Rev Albert Bogle (Bo’ness St Andrew’s) the Church of Scotland’s roving Ambassador for the next twelve months.
On the opening day the Queen’s letter was read followed by Her Majesty’s commission to Lord Selkirk, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton as her representative. On Wednesday morning the Assembly was addressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. He took as his theme the concept of an open door – challenging us to rethink what it means to be the Church and to find ways of telling the world of the life on the other side of the door.
On Thursday morning we heard the Report of the Committee on Chaplains to Her Majesty’s Forces reaffirming the support of the Church for Chaplains to the forces and their families. The desire of the Forces to have Chaplains is as strong now as it ever was.
The Big Four
Ministries Council: much of the work of the Council during the past year has been in reviewing staffing by means of the new Presbytery Plans with over a quarter now in place. The new office of the Ordained Local Ministry is now established, but some clarification over training is still required. The moratorium on recruitment of Presbytery and Parish Workers will remain in place at least until 2013.
Mission and Discipleship Council: the Council have completed the outsourcing of St Andrews Press and discussions are ongoing with the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a view to allowing them to become a separate charity from the Church. Following a number of resignations within the Council, a review of the place and remit of the Mission and Discipleship Council has commenced under the Council of Assembly. The Council of Assembly will report back on this to the General Assembly in 2013.
Social Care Council (Crossreach): a tremendous amount of work is undertaken by Crossreach – helping vulnerable teenagers, children, and families, and being Scotland’s largest nursing home provider. With Government cutbacks throughout the country, the future looks very difficult indeed. However, during the past year, they were able to reduce their “overdraft” to the Church from £8m to £5m by means of old property sales.
World Mission: this is the year of China for the Church and all congregations are invited to engage with this. The remit of the Council is territorially very large, so each year the Council chooses an area on which to focus attention. Also, a great deal of work goes on behind the scenes to partner ecumenically where resources are stretched. The Council achieved a breakeven budget during the year and was able to record a substantial surplus as a result of the sale of St. Colms. A proportion of these funds have been used to establish a new fund to support the training of Missionary Workers.
Other Assembly Reports:
Report of the Special Commission on the purposes of Economic Activity. The Commission has four priorities for the Church, for society and for the governments in Edinburgh and Westminster: reducing inequality; ending poverty; ensuring sustainability; and promoting mutuality.
The Guild reported another fantastic year, and its 125th Anniversary, but noted the difficulty experienced throughout the country in getting office bearers. Young people were particularly encouraged to join and all congregations asked to support their Guild in whatever ways they can.
Central Services reminded the Assembly that the term “121” actually refers to the addresses 117 – 123 George Street in Edinburgh. Numbers 117 to 121 inclusive are office accommodation, whilst 123 is a retail premises leased out by the church. A review of “121” during the year concluded that it would be best to remain in central Edinburgh for the time being.
The Special Commission on Tenure gave an interim report reaffirming Ministers as office bearers and NOT employees. They will report in more detail on tenure in 2013.
The Housing and Loan Fund recorded a difficult year with the current recessionary environment affecting property prices, but the Fund remains well placed to assist retiring Ministers who may be in financial need.
The Investors Trust reported a very volatile year, with a further difficult year expected in 2012. Church investment strategies had been reviewed with regard to risk.
The General Trustees reported on their ongoing work to support churches with property issues. Complaints had been noted regarding the large increases in insurance premiums faced by churches coupled with significant profits returned by the Insurance Company – a review is underway.
The annual accounts of the church show a continuing deficit, mainly as a result of the Ministries Council staff and pension costs, unrealised losses on investments, and a poor pension revaluation. The situation as regards the projected pension deficit is causing concern across the Church. Nonetheless, the position is improving with all councils budgeting to breakeven in 2012.