CONGREGATIONAL INFORMATION REPORT
At the Church Of Scotland General Assembly in May of this year, as part of the Radical Action Plan, a decision was taken to reduce the total number of ministry posts throughout Scotland.
The total agreed number of these ministry posts has been allocated among all the Presbyteries in the country and Ayr Presbytery, in which we currently sit, has been allocated 19 Minister posts and 5 Ministries Development Staff posts. At the moment there are 48 congregations in Ayr Presbytery organised in to 32 charges, 13 of which are currently vacant St Meddan’s included. With this level of constraint on ministry posts change is inevitable and no congregation in the Presbytery will be unaffected by these changes.
Ayr Presbytery is split into 4 area groupings, north, south ,east and west, and we lie in the north area grouping which consists of all the Prestwick churches, all the Troon churches, Dundonald, Craigie Symington and Monkton. Out of the number of 19 Minister posts allotted to Ayr Presbytery , the north grouping has been allocated by the end of the plan, 5 Ministers of Word and Sacrament along with 1 Ordained Local Minister. This means that these ministers will cover the area of Prestwick, Troon, Dundonald, Craigie Symington and Monkton. Ayr Presbytery has circulated a Mission Plan and this has been produced to try to plan a way forward taking account of these numbers and is a plan based on mission which will shape the future of the church for many decades to come .
A consultation meeting was held on 2nd September by Presbytery to inform the north area group of the Presbytery Mission Plan and 3 representatives from each church attended. The formal discussions have now started among the churches as to the way forward with the Prestwick churches and Monkton and Craigie Symington in one discussion group and Troon and Dundonald churches in the other discussion group. A plan requires to be completed by 1stNovember , with full agreement from all churches. If full agreement cannot be reached with all the churches then Presbytery , at their discretion , will decide on a Plan A.
The implementation of the plan could take longer in some areas than others but the ultimate aim of the plan has to be agreed by the end of the plan period.
This information will be repeated next Sunday as well as being published on the church website .
We are at the beginning of this process and the congregation will be kept updated on all that is happening and there will be opportunities for discussion in the coming weeks but in the meantime please do email me with any questions, thoughts, suggestions and indeed concerns you may have.
UPDATE: 19th September 2021
As mentioned the discussion process is now underway with one meeting held last week and with Craigie Symington joining the Troon and Dundonald group.
There was no complete agreement reached regarding the preferred option among the 5 churches represented at the meeting.
Kirk Session will now meet to discuss this on Wednesday and the congregation will be kept informed.
And to intimate that a Kirk Session meeting will held 2 weeks today on Sunday 3rd October.
UPDATE: 22nd September 2021
The session met informally to go over all the options. They will meet to make more formal decision on the 3rd October.
UPDATE: 9th October 2021
Our session have met and discussed how we would like to move forward. The session looked at all the choices and were asked to vote on the three viable options.
The representatives were then instructed to take sessions thoughts into talks on the 7th October and unfortunately the talks were not particularly helpful.
There really hasn’t been any meeting of minds between the church representatives and if this continues presbytery will decide what option St Meddans will be left with. This is not necessarily option A in the print as the document is in draft form and the arbitrator of the talks may propose a different plan.
A further final round of talks is scheduled to take place on 28th October before the submission to presbytery on 1st of November.
It is safe to say your representatives are feeling less positive about the process and the session continue to ask for your prayers as they seek Gods will at this time.
Plan A - Troon Old/Troon Portland/ Troon St Meddan’s unite to form a Troon Church with a local mission church in NE Troon. Dundonald and Craigie Symington unite.
Plan B – Troon Old/Troon Portland/Troon St Meddan’s unite to form a Troon Church and form a new Troon Contemporary Lifestyle church. Dundonald / Craigie Symington/ Monkton unite.
Plan C - We are encouraged by presbytery to explore Plan C's or changes to A and B
Five Marks of Mission
The General Assembly of October 2020 endorsed the Five Marks of Mission, agreeing that for the Church to be fit for purpose in the 21st Century, these five marks must be evidenced at local, regional and national levels.
Originally developed by the Anglican Communion in the 1980s as a way to define Christian mission they are:
To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth