Kirkcudbright Parish Church
At the heart of Kirkcudbright, having Kirkcudbright at heart!
Report on Interim Ministry Presentation
On Wednesday 8th March the congregation gathered to hear a presentation about Interim Ministry by two members of the interim ministry team, Rev John Collard and Rev Ian Murray. They explained that all congregations would benefit from a time of interim ministry in a vacancy but because of resources only a few were actually able to benefit from it. The interim ministry team for the whole of Scotland is only eight interim ministers and one interim deacon.
Interim ministry helps a congregation come to terms with its history and discover its identity for the future. It is particularly helpful after either a very long or very short ministry or where there is conflict in the congregation. All interim ministers are experienced ministers. They work as the parish minister, taking the services, pastoral visiting, doing the funerals and weddings, going into the schools etc but they also work to move the congregation forward to a point where it is able to call its own minister.
Interim ministry usually lasts for one to two years. After an interim minister is appointed to a congregation, a Transition Support Group (TSG) is set up. This consists of three members from Presbytery and three members from the Interim Ministry Task Group and one external interim minister. The Transition Support Group meets with the congregation usually a few weeks after the interim minister has been appointed and the aims and objectives for the period of Interim Ministry are decided. The congregation and interim minister then work towards these aims and objectives and once they have been fulfilled, that is when the period of interim ministry comes to an end and the congregation is given permission to call its own minister.
In voting for Interim ministry a congregation is temporarily giving up its right to call its own minister as it will be allocated a member of the interim ministry team but the point was made that, and I quote “You won’t get a duffer because there aren’t any on the interim ministry team!”
In terms of time-scale, currently all interim ministers are in placements, but there is one due to finish at the end of May and three looking to finish late summer, early autumn. The actual deployment of the interim ministers is up to the Interim Ministry Task Group. Sometimes interim ministers are able to live in their own homes while working as an interim minister but, as Kirkcudbright is quite isolated, any interim minister would have to live in the Manse.
After a time for questions, the Kirk Session voted on whether or not Interim Ministry was a path that they felt was the right way ahead for Kirkcudbright Parish Church. The vote was thirteen in favour, none against and two abstentions. On a vote of the whole congregation being taken, the result was sixty nine in favour, one against and two abstentions.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before an interim minister is appointed here.
Revd. Val Ott
On Sundays and throughout the week, our congregation offers you a variety of opportunities for fellowship and service, whatever your age or background. We welcome others of faith and of no faith to join us in journeying with Christ, He who has promised to be with us always. We are all at different stages of our journeying and a good number of us discover particular friendship and companioning in our four Home Fellowship Groups which meet weekly.
We have a fine, light and spacious church building dating from 1838 designed by the Scottish Architect William Burn; also a fine purpose-built church hall, with a well equipped kitchen, which provides a meeting place for not a few church and community groups. A current congregational initiative is looking at the possibility of releasing our fine, but under-used, 175 year-old church building into 7 day-a-week use under local community ownership which we would continue to use alongside other community co-users. Plans have been drawn up for the development of the building for such multi-community use and discussions with all interested parties are ongoing at the moment.
You, whom God sends our way, however, are our main concern. Should you consider that we might be of service to you, please be in touch.