Every Kirk Session is required to have a Clerk. The appointment is not for life, but only during the pleasure of the Session. Particularly in a large Session a case can be made for making the appointment only for a specified number of years. It should be recognized that even a small Session may be depriving itself of valuable talent by leaving it to one person to hold this office for potentially a very long time. There are also those who, because of other commitments, might be more willing to act as Clerk if the appointment were to be for a definite, rather than an indefinite, number of years. The person chosen does not have to be an elder. Historically the Clerk was just that, no more than what nowadays might be called a minute secretary. Now all or nearly all Session Clerks are elders. Regrettably, it sometimes proves impossible to persuade anyone to be the Session Clerk. When this happens, the minister must act as Clerk as well as Moderator of the Session, but this is a most unsatisfactory state of affairs, and it should not continue longer than is absolutely necessary. 

It would be in order for a Session Clerk to have the assistance of a secretary or typist in taking the minutes and attending to correspondence. It would be in order also for such a person to attend Kirk Session meetings for this purpose. If the Clerk is absent from any meeting of the Session, a Clerk pro tempore is appointed. 


The main duties of a Session Clerk are:- 

(a) with the Moderator or Interim Moderator to call and prepare for meetings of the Session; 

(b) to keep Minutes of Kirk Session meetings; 

(c) to attend to correspondence, including the issuing of Extracts; (d) to be responsible for all Records of the congregation; 

(e) to submit the Records of the congregation annually to the Presbytery for attestation; 

(f) generally to see to the functioning of the Session, to be concerned for the welfare of the congregation, and to have a working knowledge of the Church’s practice and procedure.

an excerpt from      

Revised October 2008