Congregational Meeting

The Unitary Constitution and the Model Deed of Constitution

Kirks in the Church of Scotland have been governed largely by two constitutions: the Model Deed of Constitution and the Unitary Constitution.

With the Unitary Constitution, allow the single body of the Kirk Session and its constituent committees to oversee both civil and ecclesiastical issues, which include everything from property to pastoral care and from finance to vision for the future.

With the Model Deed of Constitution, issues such as property and finance are taken care of by the Congregational Board, while the Kirk Session is left to oversee the spiritual life of the congregation.

Currently, St John's functions with the Model Deed of Constitution. The General Assembly, in 2016, decided to stop approving the Model Deed of Constitution and urged congregations not yet adopting the Unitary Constitution to do so.

At meetings of both the Board and Kirk Session, held on 9 September, it was unanimously agreed to recommend to the congregation that we adopt the Unitary Constitution. Accordingly, a congregational meeting will be held after morning worship on Sunday 6 October to put this recommendation to the congregation.

More information may be found on the Church of Scotland website by following this link:


At the congregational meeting on 6 October 2019, Session Clerk, Glenn Walker explained the reasons for moving to the Unitary Constitution.  There were no questions or comments from the congregation and members and adherents present voted unanimously to approve the move.

Details of when the move will occurr and its effects on congregational life will be provided when known.