General Principles

The process of Local Church Review creates principles to shape the life of the congregation, rather than determine prescriptive behaviour. It is a process in which faith and vows of membership should be highlighted and strengthened throughout.

1. It is a congregational review rather than a Presbytery review and should encourage good working relationships between the two.

2. It invites a cross section of people (gender, age, length of time in the congregation), to be involved. The fact that this is an open meeting must be stressed to congregations well in advance of the arranged date.

3. It should feed into the vision of the congregation, and Presbytery must be equipped to support the outcomes.

4. Its purpose is to encourage, support and enable the congregation itself – taking into account the past but, more importantly, the future.

5. It is aspirational and an on-going process and measures the point at which the review takes place. The past is legacy.

6. It leads into other things in the life of the congregation.

7. It is not programme-driven, but visionary and encourages new and healthier relationships within and beyond church.

8. It is specific to the congregation – its hopes, it s aspirations, its needs to fulfil the work and vision of the gospel in that place.

9. It is something that is revisited each year by the Session, asking ‘Where have we got to in our plan?’

10. Local Church Review is a continuous process in which Presbytery must play a cons tructive and continuous part. Presbytery must always be very open and honest about the use of the Review Reports, which should be to assist congregations to reach their full potential and not for any underlying purpose.