Synod Bogging -9 Friday Morning

In the surreal film version of General Synod, everyone arrives this morning wearing name budges, each of which says “I am Lexie Plumtree”.

In reality, the day begins with the presentation of the Golf Cup. There is a rumour in the benches around me to the effect that next year it is going to be darts.

We also start by being admonished by the Primus. Apparently the members of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney felt “traduced” during yesterday’s debate on the marriage liturgy. He seems to suggest that people’s comments, were hurtful. I’m surprised by this and wonder whether this is an ironic reference to the goings on in the Big Brother house. Is someone about to get thrown out from synod for being rude to Aberdeen?

I don’t think that Aberdeen & Orkney made their case very persuasively, but had better not say so, or else there will be an instant eviction.

First up this morning is the Admin Board. My handwriting recognition system interprets this as “Admin Beard” which is another happy surreal image to begin the day with. I imagine the Admin Board meeting members passing the Admin Beard amongst them. Whoever has the beard has the power.

Seems that the Dunderdale Fund is under subscribed. It gives money for small building projects.

I speak in a debate about retirement housing. I speak against a motion that will top slice legacies for this purpose. I also suggest that if the problem is too many people living in tied housing, then the answer is to get people out of tied housing. l am accused by the next speaker in the debate of living in fairy land. I murmur, barely audibly, “Oh yes, I live in fairy-land.”

Seem that you cannot be rude to Aberdeen in debate, but I can be called a fairy.

The motion falls. Fairy-land wins!

We move onto stuff about how clergy are paid. We are told once again that clergy are not employed, but are office holders. I don’t think that will stand up in court. I don’t think that being an office holder automatically excludes someone from being employed. The muttering I hear in the body of the synod indicates to me that others agree with me.


  1. For the sake of accuracy — your barely audible reply was carried on fairy’s wings round the chamber, that all with ears may hear.

  2. Mike Goss says

    Hi Kelvin

    I’m a regular visitor to Gadgetvicar’s blog, from where I occasionally sneak a peak at your’s. Fascinating stuff! (I speak as one confirmed by +Fred Goldie of Glasgow & Galloway of blessed memory, as a chorister in St John’s Dumfries during Canon John Taylor’s (later +John) time).

    Far be it for me to comment on the goings-on of Synod, being a Minister in the Kirk, but we are also Office-holders rather than employees. This has great significance with respect to employment law, and probably is not yet fixed. Recent case: Rev Helen Percy vs. Church of Scotland. She had office as an Associate Minister, and was also employed as a part-time Prison Chaplain. The House of Lords ruled that her case could be heard by an employment tribunal – but only in respect of her contracted employment to the then Board of Mission as a Prison Chaplain. The Presbytery of Angus was not at the tribunal over her status as an Associate Minister.

    Grace and peace to you!


  3. kelvin says

    Hi Mike

    I’m aware of Helen’s case. (In fact, I was at college with Helen in St Andrews quite a while ago, when she was more famous for her pig-keeping).

    Glad to have you as an occasional reader. How we admire the C of S’s web coverage at Assembly time!

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