Council of Assembly

Our remit

The Council of Assembly has the authority to take administrative decisions between General Assemblies, co-ordinate the work of the Church's central administration and take decisions about resources, finances and staffing.

This includes

  • Providing guidance on management, organisation and administration, and advising the General Assembly on the relative importance of work being undertaken by its various agencies
  • Recommending to the General Assembly the total amount of the Church's co-ordinated budget for the following financial year and how it should be allocated, and preparing an indicative rolling budget for the following five financial years
  • Distributing legacies and donations amongst the agencies of the General Assembly, and considering proposals on purchasing and selling property and other assets
  • Determining staffing and resourcing requirements of agencies of the General Assembly, in line with the General Assembly's priorities, other than those serving in particular parishes or overseas
  • Dealing with urgent issues arising between meetings of the General Assembly, which do not fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission of Assembly, presbytery or kirk session, and are not of a legislative or judicial nature.

Church of Scotland Annual Reports

Investment Principles

Statement of Investment Principles

Our membership

  • Convener - Dr Sally Bonnar, Elder at Perth: North
  • Vice-convener – David Watt, Elder, Airdrie: New Wellwynd
  • Acting Secretary to the Council of Assembly - Rev Dr Martin Johnstone


  • Rev Jennifer Adams, Convener, Panel on Review and Reform
  • David Brackenridge, Elder at Peebles: St Andrew's Leckie
  • Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, Convener, World Mission Council
  • Alison Fenton, Elder at Giffnock South
  • Rev Dr Richard Frazer, Convener, Church and Society Council
  • Alistair Gibb, Elder at Edinburgh: Cramond
  • Rev Neil Glover, Convener, Ministries Council
  • Isobel Hunter, Elder at Skirling
  • Anne Lamont, Elder at Edinburgh: Leith North
  • Rev Prof Andrew McGowan, Minister at Inverness: East
  • Norma Rolls, Elder at Edinburgh: Palmerston Place
  • Rev Norman Smith, Convener, Mission and Discipleship Council
  • Rev Alan Sorensen, Minister at Greenock: Wellpark Mid Kirk
  • Bill Steele, Convener, Social Care Council
  • Ronald Wright, Elder at Dunblane: Cathedral

Secretaries (non-voting)

  • Rev Ian Alexander, Council secretary, World Mission Council
  • Viv Dickenson, Council secretary, Social Care Council
  • Rev Dr Martin Johnstone, Council secretary, Church and Society Council
  • Rev Angus Mathieson, Council Secretary, Mission and Discipleship Council
  • Rev Jayne Scott, Council secretary, Ministries Council

Members ex officiis (non-voting)

  • Rev Dr George Whyte, Principal Clerk
  • Anne Macintosh, General Treasurer of the Church
  • Mary Macleod, Solicitor of the Church

Contact for more information

Email or contact us at the Church's offices in Edinburgh.


The Council of Assembly usually meets on the third Monday of June, September, November, December, February, and April. Unless otherwise stated, all meetings of the Council will take place at the Church offices at 121 George Street, Edinburgh.

Minutes from Council of Assembly meetings