November 2018

New Elders

As you know we asked for suggestions of names of members who could be asked to consider becoming elders and as a result we had a group of names – all of whom have been approached.  As you would expect – a number declined and the remainder agreed to pursue this further (by attending our away day and some training from Gavin).

Hopefully the final group of new elders will be ordained in the New Year.


Unitary Constitution

We have now had final confirmation that our new constitution is adopted by the church. This means all matters of governance are now the responsibility of Kirk Session including finance and property. We hope all our retiring Deacons will find new roles in the church to use their gifts and talents.


Away Day - 10 November

We had a good away day with our team of elders and prospective elders.  The focus was on some material – 6 essential strategies to help young people discover and love your church

see website -

It’s based on research into churches that are attracting young people and continuing to be churches of all-ages.

Some of the ideas include that younger people want are

o   A warm church community that takes Jesus’ message seriously

o   Meaningful involvement

o   discussion on more topical issues

o   feeling of belonging  and being needed in the church

o   to be able to see church as relevant

There is much more to the material and it is hoped to have church wide meetings (either a day conference or series of meetings) to get us all involved.


Special Interest Groups

A lot of the plans for 2019 are maintaining work that is already underway.  There is some thought being given to moving our Tuesday morning open time to Saturday morning to see if it attracts more people. 

Sessions plan to trial a new style of communion service has been postponed to March (allowing the December communion to be a part of a celebration of women in ministry). The change in March will simply involve a change to the way that we distribute the elements.

Finance & Property have produced the more demanding reports

For the current year and for 2019 – we are running an operational deficit of £13,000 which means we will need to look at ways of increasing income as well as cutting costs.

In addition to this we have the following significant building costs coming soon

§  Repair church ceiling £3221

§  Replacement of small hall roof £4752

§  Replacement of boilers £20,760

§  Repaint the church ceiling – no estimate yet

Again we will have to look for ways to finance this.


We have in fact decided to use some of our reserves to go ahead and repair the church ceiling to prevent it becoming dangerous (this does not include painting).  There will be some disruption to use of the sanctuary – but we have booked the work for 4th & 7th of December.  This is simply a repair to plaster – we will have to repaint the ceiling at a later stage.

Graham Whitham, Session Clerk




September 2018

Church weekend away, 22nd – 24th March 2019, for the whole church, time together spent at Scripture Union’s new facility at Gowanbank in Darvel. More details to follow.

World Mission - a small group from John Knox (Helen Hunter / Christine Monks & Gavin Niven) are planning to visit our partner church in Northern Cyprus – all self-funded with some help from central church funds.

Worship – last year Session decided to try new ways for conducting our communion service. For the next communion service (December) we will try a form of service that many churches and our own presbytery has used – this involves inviting people in small groups to come out to take communion at the front (in the aisles). More information to come over coming weeks. [Update: This year we have an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of women in ministry in the Church of Scotland and the December morning communion is an apt service for this celebration. The original plans for December communion, will therefore be put in place for the March communion instead.]

Property - following the completion of our new roof, it has become apparent that there are a few more areas in need of urgent attention. This includes: sanctuary ceiling (plaster repair and painting), new central heating boiler, new roof and ceiling in small hall and a repair of our front wall & gate. This obviously looks expensive & we will need to look at grants & fundraising. The first step will be to get some quotes to clarify the picture.

Youth work – amongst other things our youth worker continues to work with our own H2O as well as a group of teenagers who come to Alpha / pizza evenings at the cottage. In addition – Gillian continues to help implement the new chaplaincy approach at Stewarton Academy as well as provide chaplaincy services. She delivers the CAP youth money course at the Academy and has facilitated a paired reading group where members of John Knox will help S1/2 teenagers with their reading. She also provides crossover outreach to the P6/7 group as they transition to the Academy.

Harvest service – is on 7th October with a light lunch and we will again collect shoeboxes for Blythswood Care.

September/October 2017

Notes from September Session

2 people supported by Session to become worship leaders – Gillian Burns & Peter Anderson.

Trustees are hoping to have an away day & hopefully spend time on discussing – the linkage and unitary constitution among other things.

A joint meeting of Deacons Court & Session was held to look at finance

The current roof project costs have increased as we had to replace sarking boards as well as other parts (slates / waterproof layer etc) – this additionally meant we had to replace the gutters.  The overspend is of the order of £20,000.  This will produce a cash flow problem for us, so The General Trustees of the C of S have agreed to lend us £15,000 for 1 year (interest free) which will then let us reclaim a grant equivalent to the VAT paid as well as bring forward some gift aid tax relief.  These 2 measures should allow repayment of the loan.

G Whitham
Session Clerk