At separate meetings of Aberlady and Gullane Kirk Sessions last week, the proposal presented by Lothian Presbytery’s Strategic Planning & Mission Committee is:
- Aberlady and Gullane would be under Guardianship with a 0.25 ministerial allowance (a locum for 10 hours per week) for which 121 would pay. This would cover the two Sunday services as well as some pastoral care (as in our current situation with Rev Fred Harrison).
- We would form a ‘parish grouping’ with St. Andrew Blackadder (SAB). Their minister would be our Interim Moderator; both Gullane and Aberlady continue as separate Kirk Sessions and congregations; we share resources as agreed with SAB.
- A new structure for Ministry and Mission (M&M) would mean that Aberlady and Gullane’s contributions to M&M would be reduced by around £10,000 and £17,000 respectively. These savings could be used for other purposes, such as employing a youth worker or a pastoral carer. We could spend more or less than that as we decide.
- The timing of this is that Presbytery’s Plan should be ready by early 2022. Presbytery are meeting with SAB Session on 2 November and if they are supportive of this then potentially, we could start to arrange our parish grouping with SAB in early 2022. Everything needs to be approved by Presbytery, all Kirk Sessions and congregations.
Both Kirk Sessions have given their approval for Presbytery to pursue this plan and there was considerable enthusiasm for certain of the benefits that may flow from a new parish grouping.