Mission Planning

Presbytery has now released the Draft Mission Plan, a copy of which is available for download below.

The document runs to 148 pages with the “West” area of the Presbytery in which East Kilbride is located to be found on pages 20 ~ 47.

Naturally, what we wish to know is what will be happening to Westwood…

On page 40 & 41 of the Draft Plan we find that MPAG is supportive of the proposal submitted that the future of Westwood and Greenhills lies in a union of the two congregations with Westwood Church building being the main place of worship. (Westwood Church remains opens). There is no mention of a Parish Grouping which will lead us toward that union and no mention of a business proposal for the future use of Greenhills buildings but it is supportive of an endeavour to explore a missional and worship space within Greenhills, which may amount to the same thing.

Overall, we may greet the Draft Plan with some relief as it does reflect what was submitted (even if it was submitted at the very last gasp!)

The Presbytery meeting of Tuesday 26th September will be discussing the “West” area of which we are a part. The Minister and Presbytery Elder will attend. In addition three other members of the congregation can attend. Should we wish to speak on behalf of Westwood we must notify the Presbytery Clerk in advance. Any other members of the congregation who may wish to view the discussions will be able to do so online but will not have the right to speak or contribute to those discussions.

Please bear in mind that Presbytery are presenting a Draft Plan which even if it is agreed in full by Presbytery will still have to be approved by General Assembly Committees.

Presbytery Meeting of Tuesday 26 Sep 2023

I imagined that you might want an update on last night’s Presbytery meeting as it met to discuss the Draft Mission Plan and in particular the plan for our area.

Well….  it didn’t go to plan.

Presbytery has received the draft plan (it wasn’t thrown out) and it will be used as a basis for discussion in the future.

What did happen was the acceptance of a counter proposal to defer the discussion of the Draft Plan.  

 Counter Motion to sections 2-7 in the name of Rev Dr Peter Donald 

“2. Defer consideration of its Draft Mission Plan until a future meeting held at the earliest practical opportunity to allow 

a. The Mission Plan Action Group to communicate to Kirk Sessions the precise rationale behind its decisions for each local situation where it has departed from the proposals made within clusters, and 

b. Kirk Sessions to submit to the Mission Plan Action Group such clarifications and detail in order to help a refining of the Draft Mission Plan before its next submission to Presbytery. 

The floor of Presbytery wished to have time for further and more detailed conversations between the Planning Team and Kirk Sessions so that Kirk Sessions could indicate how they arrived at their particular proposals for their clusters and the Planning Team to share their rationale on how it arrived at proposals which differed to those submitted by Kirk Sessions.  And this seems a very reasonable thing to ask for.  Voting went 89 in favour of the counter-motion 71 against.  Trouble is…

Presbyteries were instructed by GeneralAssembly to have a plan in place by 31st December 2022.  Our Presbytery, the last to submit a plan, is now 9 months adrift from that and therefore is regarded as being in contempt of the instruction from Assembly.  A further delay only furthers our contempt of Assembly’s instruction.  Who knows how Assembly Committees will react to our decision to delay further.  We are in uncharted waters !!  Personally, I think this may be time for Edinburgh simply to impose the Mission Plan that has been presented to us without further debate.

Further to this… the decision of Presbytery to accept the counter proposal prompted the resignation of the Mission Planning Team Convenor, Rev Ian Galloway, and on the back of that the resignation of the Planning Team.

So to progress the intent of the counter proposal a new Planning Team and Convenor would first need to be appointed (which will take months) and then dialogue with Kirk Sessions can begin.  Just how a new Planning Team will be able to communicate the rationale of the previous Planning Team’s decisions is beyond me.

Presbytery meetings for Thursday 28th and Monday 2nd October to discuss the Draft Mission Plan have been cancelled.

As is normal in significant debates like these opportunity was given for dissent to be recorded.  Janet McKay and myself recorded dissent to the decision of Presbytery.

And so ended three hours of debate.

2 Replies to “Mission Planning”

  1. William Lennie

    After reading the mission planning today.I have a suggestion for the name for the new Church. ‘Kilbryde Trinity’ I think it has a good ring to it.

  2. RevKev

    Hi Bill,

    Kilbryde is a long established name and harks back to some heritage for East Kilbride. Trinity will bring echoes of the three parishes of Old, Westwood and Greenhills that will be coming together so you may well be on to something!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *