• Elizabeth Drive, Bathgate, EH48 1JB

Towards a Unitary Constitution at Boghall Parish Church

Until a few years ago, Boghall Parish Church operated under a ‘Model Deed of Constitution.’ Under this system, ‘spiritual matters’ such as worship and pastoral care were the responsibility of the Kirk Session, whereas the Congregational Board handled ‘temporal matters’ such as property and finance.

Around 2017, we started moving in practice towards working under a ‘Unitary Constitution,’ whereby the activities of the congregation are governed by one body, the elders meeting in Kirk Session.

There were several reasons for this. It reflects the fact that in modern thought, the old distinction between sacred and secular has become less clear. It avoids the confusion which sometimes arose about whether a particular topic was ‘Session business or ‘Board business.’

It has certain practical advantages in simplifying administration. It clarifies the responsibilities of elders under Scottish charities law. Also, it is in accordance with Church of Scotland policy to move congregations towards using the Unitary Constitution.

In Boghall, we have in practice now been operating under a Unitary Constitution system for several years. The Kirk Session meets regularly, receiving reports from several committees which operate under delegated powers. The Congregational Board exists only in name and no longer meets.

The time has now come to make the change formally to a Unitary Constitution. This requires members and adherents to vote at a congregational meeting, which will be held at the morning service on a date to be arranged, within the next few weeks.

New members will be welcome to the sub-committees that report to Kirk Session: Finance; Outreach; Pastoral Care; Property; Worship.

Please speak to your Elder or one of the Session Clerks if you want to join any of the sub-committees.

Sent on behalf of the Kirk Session Boghall Parish Church

Scottish charity number SC001881