Our congregation operates legally under a Unitary Constitution.

As in all Church of Scotland congregations, the Kirk Session, consisting of elders and chaired by the Minister, is our governing body.

In 2013 we reviewed the workings of the Session. You can read the model which was agreed at that time here.

Within the Session there is a small Leadership Team, and a series of Action Teams:

The Leadership Team has overall responsibility for the day-to-day business of Old High St Stephen’s. Each year, it organises an Elders Conference to review Church progress in the past year and agree an action plan for the following year. It also has responsibility for the assessing the training and development needs of the Action Teams and ensuring needs are fully met. It has oversight of the church calendar- the dates and times of all events will have to be agreed by the Leadership Team. Initially they will also generate a vision for the future of the congregation.
Action Teams are empowered to take forward specific tasks within defined areas of delegated authority. The Action Teams are:

  • The Finance and Stewardship Action Team will ensure that OHSS meets its financial obligations; be responsible for all banking and investments; be responsible for all necessary accounting practices, as required by the Church of Scotland, OSCAR and statute, keeping all necessary records etc; be responsible for the preparation of annual OHSS accounts and their timeous submission to appropriate bodies; preparation of an annual OHSS financial plan covering capital and revenue items; setting of hall letting charges and conditions of let; active promotion of stewardship issues including the use of Gift Aid; encouraging regular reviews of giving; keeping the congregation fully informed of OHSS finances on a regular basis.
  • The Property Action Team will have responsibility for the fabric of all OHSS properties – the care of all land/gardens, buildings, furniture, fittings and equipment, including their security, repair, maintenance and general condition; be responsible for obtaining quotations, placing purchase orders, approving invoices and generally dealing with contractors and suppliers.; fulfilling all the obligations of Church and civil legislation, including health and safety; liaising with the Finance and Stewardship Team on property and fabric issues with major cost implications; have delegated financial authority ( level to be set by the Kirk Session) to deal with emergency repairs.
  • The Pastoral Care Action Team will have responsibility for assisting the Minister with pastoral visiting and support. The Pastoral Care Action Team will be responsible for an immediate review of OHSS’ pastoral care system, making recommendations for change to the full Kirk Session and implementing all approved changes. The Team will be responsible for the current Lunch Club and flower ministries.
  • The Social and Fund-raising Action Team will be responsible for the provision of all social and fund-raising events. The Team will encourage friendships to be nurtured by developing social opportunities such as teas and coffees after worship, the Monday Club, the Men’s Group, afternoon teas, concerts, bus trips, picnics, social outings etc.
  • The Worship Action Team will provide assistance to the Minister in the planning of worship – its form and content as appropriate – identifying readers and those willing to lead prayers ; recommending times of worship services and their location; encouraging young people to be involved in worship services; ensure quality sound systems to be operational for worship; arrange for locum Ministers, provide organists and beadles; enable worship services to be arranged in residential or nursing homes as requested; support the Minister in the provision of home communion; arrange prayer groups; support and encourage the church choirs.
  • The Education Action Team will be responsible for the teaching of children and young people; organise provision of crèche facilities on Sunday mornings; encourage youth leaders, including the Boys’ Brigade, who nurture the interest of children and young people in the life of the congregation; be fully aware of Safeguarding issues in liaison with appointed PVG Co-ordinators; promote adult education; provide relevant resources to nurture adult education; arrange opportunities for relevant speakers to stimulate educational debate and faith sharing; continue with the system of elders’ visits to organisations.
  • The Outreach and Communication Team will be responsible for all aspects of mission including local Crossreach services; the preparation and implementation of a communications strategy covering advertising, website, church magazine, weekly bulletins and appropriate forms of social media; the responsibility for organising OHSS’s Christian Aid door-to-door collections; assisting the Minister with Christian Basics courses; arrange Welcome Duty teams at services of worship.

If you would like to know more, please contact the Minister.