Kirk announces membership of new Forums

The Church of Scotland has formally appointed conveners, vice conveners, interim heads and members of the two new Forums: Faith Nurture and Faith Impact.

General Assembly image
The formation of the two new Forums was approved by the Commission of Assembly in November 2019, during which time commissioners gave their support for the merger of the four previous central councils into two bodies.

The formation of the two new Forums was approved by the Commission of Assembly in November 2019, during which time commissioners gave their support for the merger of the four previous central councils into two bodies.

The new bodies, which came into operation on 1 January this year, are each made up of a convener, a vice-convener and 13 members.

The naming of these two new bodies is still under discussion and subject to change.

Dave Kendall, Chief Officer of the Church of Scotland, said:

“The formation of the two new Forums is a very important first step in the restructuring of our arrangements.

“The outcome for us will be leaner, fit for purpose structures and simpler governance which will have a real and tangible beneficial impact on how we operate as a Church.

“This has been a challenging milestone to deliver in a relatively short time frame and has demonstrated what can be achieved through a combination of strong faith, skill, commitment, tenacity and enthusiasm.

“I am really looking forward to working with the staff and members of the Faith Nurture and Faith Impact Forums as we start to shape the future together.”

Heads of the Forums have been appointed on an interim basis until the summer. The roles of conveners, vice-conveners and forum members are held as interim appointments until the General Assembly in May, at which time the Nomination Committee is instructed to bring forward nominations for these roles.

Faith Nurture Forum

The Nominations Committee has appointed the following members to the provisionally-titled ‘Faith Nurture Forum’, which is made up of the former Ministries Council and the Mission and Discipleship Council:

Convener: Rev Rosie Frew.

Vice-convener: Rev Dr Karen Campbell.

Interim Head of Faith Nurture: Rev Angus Mathieson.

Members: Barbara Finlayson, Richard Lloyd, Ruth Mackenzie, Murdo McMillan, Lesley-Ann Calvert, Stefanie Fowler, Sue Thomson, Rev Michael Goss, Rev Dr Alan Hamilton, Rev Fraser Macnaughton, Rev Hanneke Marshall, Rev Scott McCarthy, Rev Andrew Morrice.

Faith Impact Forum

The Nominations Committee has appointed the following members to the provisionally-titled ‘Faith Impact Forum’, which is made up of the former World Mission Council and the Church and Society Council:

Convener: Very Rev Dr Susan Brown.

Vice-convener: Rev Alan Miller.

Interim Head of Faith Impact: Rev Ian Alexander.

Members: Maureen Jack, Valerie Macniven, Mary Sweetland, Barry Watson, Caroline Cowan, Peter Lloyd, Rebecca Gebauer, Rev Richard Baxter, Rev Stuart Fulton, Rev Karen Hendry, Rev Peter Johnston, Rev Peter Nimmo, Rev Justin Taylor.

The first task of these two new bodies is to take a detailed look at the work currently being done and make recommendations for the future.

This will include which work should be discontinued, what should continue, and what might better be devolved to presbytery level.

During last year’s Commission of Assembly, commissioners approved that Ecumenical Relations and the Theological Forum would sit within the management and departmental structure of the Faith Nurture Forum.

The Ecumenical Relations Committee and the Theological Forum will continue to report separately to the General Assembly.

Commissioners also approved that Interfaith work would sit within the management, departmental structure and policy framework of the Faith Impact Forum.

What’s next?

Under the direction of the 14-person Assembly Trustees, which was implemented in June 2019, work will continue in achieving a reduction in central administration costs of £2m within two years.

This is in addition to the Presbytery Reform Plan which will see the structure of the Kirk’s 45 presbyteries reduced to around 12 over the next few years. Work is already underway and overtures on presbytery mergers are expected to go to the upcoming 2020 General Assembly.

In autumn 2019, the Kirk’s first Chief Officer was appointed by the Assembly Trustees. Dave Kendall has overall executive responsibility for the Trustees’ employees and budgets, and is taking forward the organisational implementation of the vision and the strategy of the General Assembly for a leaner and fitter Church.