Church of Scotland

Carlops Parish Church is a Church of Scotland congregation.


All Church of Scotland churches belong to a regional Presbytery.  Carlops is a member of Lothian and Borders Presbytery.

Presbytery is composed of all ministers resident in its geographical area (working and retired persons), and a number of elders nominated by each Kirk Session.

Presbytery is responsible for ensuring the proper operation of individual churches, planning the allocation of (especially human) resources and other overarching matters.  


Carlops operates in a linkage with five other churches. Linkage means that the churches share a minister, but each has its own Kirk Session and is independent in matters of policy and operation. Linked churches collaborate and share human, financial and physical resources when it is mutually beneficial, but remain free to deploy their individual interests and skills as they see fit in the service of their immediate community and congregation

Carlops Kirk Session

The Kirk Session consists of the church’s elders, the minister and people invited to contribute to the Session’s work because they possess some particular skill or experience.  Meetings of the Kirk Session are normally chaired by the minister.

The Kirk Session is responsible for all spiritual and operational matters.  As Carlops is a parish church, the Session’s pastoral responsibility extends to everyone in the parish, not just to people who are formally members of the Church.

Carlops Church is a registered charity, so the members of the Kirk Session are also trustees, responsible for the proper management of the church’s activities and resources.  In this capacity, they are answerable to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, as well as to the Church of Scotland.

Carlops Kirk Session holds open meetings and invites all supporters to attend.  Supporters who do so are encouraged to contribute to the discussion.  Reports of Session meetings are published in the newsletter

General Kirk Session

The General Kirk Session, made up of the members of all the Kirk Sessions in the linkage, meets about two to four times per year.  It has no executive function but plays an important part in ensuring communication between the individual congregations and Kirk Sessions.  

General Kirk Session meetings are open to all.