All Church of Scotland parishes across the country are involved in a process that is looking at the future shape of the church and its ministries. In Edinburgh the plan is to reduce the number of parishes from 70 to 27, and in Leith and Newhaven the proposal is to form a new parish by uniting Newhaven, North Leith and South Leith parishes with two full-time Ministers of Word and Sacrament as well as an Ordained Local Minister.
The process in Leith and Newhaven has got off to a good start with a successful joint meeting of the three current Kirk Sessions and general agreement that this should be the way forward. We have started a series of joint services to get to know each other better and a steering group has been formed consisting of Ministers, Session Clerks and three members of each congregation, including two Elders. We aim to produce this update at least monthly, to keep everyone in our congregations and the wider community up to date as the process continues.
In broad terms, over the next few months the Presbytery will engage with us to agree a near final version of the Mission Plan that should be presented at a Presbytery meeting in October this year. By the end of this year the final version of this Plan should be agreed and authorised, an important step towards implementing the basis of union (the exact structure of which is still to be determined). Some of the proposed unions could start to go ahead if the parties involved agree.
It will be an exciting but challenging time for our three congregations but the will is there to achieve a successful union and continue to proclaim the Good News of God's Kingdom, serving our members and the wider community.
We know our members may have questions and concerns about the process and the future generally and the members of the steering group will provide answers where they can, and these will be shared in future issues of this update.
In our Steering Group meeting on 7 April we discussed the 5 Marks of Mission and what each congregation is currently doing to meet these. Details of the 5 Marks of Mission can be found on the Church of Scotland website here https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/about-us/our-faith
The New Parish Steering Group has also set up a dedicated website - towardsournewparish.com - where members of our congregations and anyone in our communities can access more detailed information on what's happening. All of the New Parish Steering Group updates will be posted here. You can also view Key Documents and ask any questions about any part of the process to the Steering Group using our Ask A Question online form.
New Parish Steering Group. April 2022.
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