What is a Presbytery?
Church of Scotland government is organised on the basis of courts, mainly along lines set between 1560 and 1690. Each of these courts has developed committees, which may include other members of the Church, and those at national level now employ full-time staff.
At the local parish level: the court is a kirk session. Kirk sessions oversee the local congregation and its parish, and consist of elders presided over by a minister.
At the district level: the court is a presbytery. Presbyteries consist of all the ministers in the district and an equal number of elders, along with members of the diaconate (a form of ordained ministry, usually working in a complementary role in a ministry team in both parish and industry sector contexts).
At the national level: the court is the highest court of the Kirk - the General Assembly. The General Assembly consists of around 400 ministers, 400 elders, and members of the diaconate, all representing the presbyteries.
The Presbytery of Greenock and Paisley meets for ordinary business 10 times per year and meets at other times (e.g. for ordinations and inductions of ministers etc.) as determined by the presbytery.
New Moderator appointed on 10th October 2017, Rev Jim Cowan
Rev Jim Cowan
Jim has been the Minister of Barrhead: St Andrew’s Church since it was formed by a union of Arthurlie and South & Levern Churches in 2013, having been minister of Arthurlie from 1998. Jim served in two previous charges. He was ordained in 1986 and inducted into Cockenzie & Port Seton Old from where he moved to Greenock Ardgowan in 1992.
Jim is married to Nadia and they have 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters.Jim is a keen motorcyclist and has just completed a tour of southwest USA.
Other Presbytery Appointments
Representatives on General Assembly Committees