JurisdictionAberdeen County
Person NameAberdeen County; Old Deer Kirk Session
ActivityThe ancient church of Deer, the ruins of which can still be seen standing close to the present day church (erected in 1788), formerly belonged to the Abbey of Deer and was dedicated to St Drostan, who founded a monastery here during the 6th cent. In 1930 Deer united with Fetterangus and a further union followed in 1953 with the former United Free Church congregation of Deer Stuartfield. After the local union the churches of Fetterangus, Stuartfield and Deer all remained in use and the charge continued under the name of Deer. In 1975 further union was established with Ardallie and also with Deer Clola, again with the charge remaining under the name of Deer. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Deer, until the restructuring of the Presbyteries in 1976, when it became part of the Presbytery of Buchan.

Each congregation of the Church of Scotland has a Kirk Session, which comprises the minister(s) and the ruling elders, all members of the Session (including the minister) being elders. The elders' duty is care for the spiritual needs of the congregation; each of them has a district of the parish assigned to him/her. The Kirk Session determines the number of elders. The minister is moderator of the Session, and there is a clerk who has custody of all the Session's records. There may also be a treasurer, and an officer or beadle. The Session must have maintained a communion roll, containing the names and addresses of the communicant church members within the parish.

The Kirk Session's duties are to maintain good order amongst its congregation (including administering discipline and superintending the moral and religious condition of the parish), and to implement the Acts of the General Assembly. The Kirk Session is at the base of the pyramid of church courts, and it is subject to the review of the Presbytery in which it is situated, and to the superior courts of the Church. Each Kirk Session elects one of its number to represent it at the Presbytery (and formerly at the Synod).

Into the 19th century, there used to be weekly collections made for the support of the poor, but as the state began to assume responsibility for their support (by means of taxation) so funds collected from communicants might be directed to special schemes (eg support of missionaries), more recently through a weekly freewill offering scheme. Seat or pew rents were also quite common (money paid for a fixed seat in a church), but declined rapidly from the 1950s. Many congregations now have a congregational board, which monitors income and expenditure. Former Free Church congregations often had Deacons' Courts, which had responsibility for the whole property of the congregation, and had to apply spiritual principles in the conduct of their affairs.
Corporate NameOld Deer Kirk Session
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