First we need to look at the origins of the Church of Scotland. We have all heard of Martin Luther, and about the Reformation in England, even then all we remember might be Henry VIII and his wives, and perhaps the destruction of the monasteries.
In Scotland there was also a reformation based upon the writings of John Knox and the “First Book of Discipline” written in 1560. This set out the structure, or form of government, for the reformed church in Scotland. Whereas Bishops and a Pope govern the Roman Catholic Church, Elders meeting as a Session, and then Presbyteries, a Synod, and finally the General Assembly govern the Church of Scotland. As the local church is called the Kirk, the meeting of Elders is called the Kirk Session.
The Kirk Session has oversight of the whole life and service of the Church within its Parish; responsibility for the spiritual and temporal oversight of the Congregation’s affairs. Its spiritual responsibility involves “leadership, nurturing the spirituality of the congregation and its members, caring for the spiritual welfare of the parish and parishioners, encouraging members to participate in the worship and life of the congregation, and promoting mission and evangelism in the parish.” (Weatherhead)
Brief history of the Newtownbreda Kirk Session
The first elders were ordained in 1853 and numbered 2 since then the Kirk Session has grown till in 2012 it numbered 73.The first female elder was elected in 1965 and currently 27 members of the session are female. Not all members are active due to age or infirmity.
Like most congregations Newtownbreda has a large number of families living outside the defined parish boundaries and most elders have an average of 12 Families to visit and maintain contact.
Each organization within the Church or youth organization attached to the Church has a dedicated Elder who liaises between the organization and the Kirk Session and, if necessary, can raise any matter of concern at Kirk Session.
In the 170 years of the existence of the Church there have been 8 Clerks of Session, a testimony of dedication and service by each one.
Our present Clerk of Kirk Session is Bruce Robinson