General Assembly of the Church of Scotland - 1783

General Assembly of the Church of Scotland - 1783
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General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1783 A guide to the General Assembly The General Assembly is the supreme court of the Church of Scotland. Comprising around 850 commissioners - ministers, elders and members of the Diaconate - the Assembly meets for a week in late Spring every year, usually in the Assembly Hall on the Mound in central Edinburgh.

The General Assembly has the authority to make laws determining how the Church of Scotland operates. It also is the highest court of the Church (the other courts being the kirk session and the presbytery) in which cases can be heard in matters of litigation. Another aspect of the Assembly is its administrative role, through which its boards and committees carry out activities which are run at national level. The boards and committees present their reports annually, collected together in a blue-covered book known as The Blue Book . With each report is a series of resolutions (known as deliverances) for commissioners to accept, reject, add to or amend. The Moderator Chairing the daily business of the Assembly is the Moderator of the General Assembly. (See separate page for more information about the Moderator.) At times when the Moderator has to be absent from the debating chamber, a former Moderator will take the chair. Commissioners Commissioners are sent from the Church's parishes and presbyteries, and, because different commissioners are usually sent each year, one Assembly can assume a different character from another. Debates on matters contained in reports presented by the Assembly's various boards and committee can be lengthy and complex, sometimes resulting in many votes having to be taken in respect of a particular motion or amendment. Lord High Commissioner The Lord High Commissioner, or Queen's Commissioner, is appointed by the Queen as her representative at the General Assembly, taking up residence for the week in the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the eastern end of the Royal Mile. By custom, he or she addresses the Assembly at its opening and closing sessions, and attends much of the daily business, but is strictly not able to influence the debates.

A round of official visits in Scotland and several evening engagements at Holyroodhouse form part of the itinerary, and a garden party for Assembly commissioners and guests is one of the highlights of the Assembly's opening Saturday.

During the period of the Assembly, the Lord High Commissioner ranks next to the sovereign, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of Rothesay, and before the rest of the Royal family. Visitors Also attending the Assembly are delegates invited from other Christian denominations in Great Britain, Ireland and overseas, together with guests of the Lord High Commissioner. Civic dignitaries and politicians can been seen, too, in the throne gallery where these guests are seated. From: http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/servingscotland/genassembly.htm

Other Online Resources: http://www.answers.com/topic/church-of-scotland (Encylopedia Entry) http://www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org/the_church_of_scotland.htm (a brief history) http://website.lineone.net/~davghalgh/churchhistory.html (A family tree Scottish Presbyterian Churches post-1700)

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