The Kirk Session is made up of a minister and elders, and has oversight of the whole life and service of the Church within its parish and for the spiritual and temporal oversight of the Congregation’s affairs.
The minister acts as the chairman or “Moderator” of the Kirk Session and the elders are those members of a congregation who have been ordained and admitted as members of that particular Kirk Session. The Session itself decides how many elders it needs to function properly and when it needs to add to its number.
The Kirk Session has responsibility for, as an Act of 1931 lays down, the people of the parish (whether church members or not), the services of the sanctuary, the organisations within the congregation, and the conduct of a vacancy when it arises.
To this end the parish is split into districts, each with an elder assigned to it and it is the elder’s responsibility to pastorally look after the people in his or her district. The Session is responsible for maintaining the Congregational Roll and for arranging the number and timing of Church Services in agreement with the minister. It also arranges for Communion Services and assists the minister in the distribution of the Communion Elements.
The Kirk Session is answerable in all that it does to the local Presbytery and thence to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and all the records of the Session are inspected annually by the Presbytery, with a more in depth visit being carried out every five years.