St Paul’s is a member of the St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane Diocese and serves the area once known as Kinross-shire, now part of Perth and Kinross District. There are other churches serving the Kinross area but St Paul’s is the only Episcopalian Church, the nearest Episcopalian neighbours are in Dollar, Perth, Lochgelly and Glenrothes.
The congregation roll comprises 131 members plus 104 adherents from 88 households. Sunday communicants average 35, peaking to 80+ for the major Christian festivals. The majority of the congregation reside in the immediate area but some families travel from outside what would be considered the normal “catchment area” of Kinross and Milnathort and the membership of St Paul’s reflects the socio-economic diversity of this extended area. The congregation includes all ages and our Whole Church Eucharist every 2nd Sunday of the month is particularly inclusive and interactive for all age groups.
Leadership is by our Rector, supported by an elected Vestry. The Vestry comprises 8 elected members, plus the Rector and Lay Representative, up to 3 additional persons may be co-opted to assist the regular Vestry. Each Vestry member assumes full responsibility for one function within the Church; Finance, Property Sunday School, Music etc., and co-ordinates all activities pertinent to their function. We see this as a model for the future, the Vestry working alongside the incumbent Rector, contributing to and sharing the functions of worship.
Sunday worship centres around the Eucharist. There is an 8.30am service of Holy Communion every Sunday morning followed by an 11am Sung Eucharist. Hymns of Glory Songs of Praise (the Anglican version of Church Hymnary 4) and Common Ground provides the backbone of the music with a supplementary Carol Book for use at Christmas.
The Rector and other members of the congregation share a joint responsibility with ministers from across Kinross Churches Together for the leadership of regular mid-week services at the Kinross-shire Day Centre. St Paul's take a regular and active role in a program of ecumenical services and activities throughout the year, especially during Advent and Lent.
St Paul’s supports the diocesan links with Diocese of Kolkata in India. It has historically supported the Aberlour Child Care Trust. Its main local outreach work continues with the monthly Carers' Hub cafe and alongside Broke Not Broken, a charity that oversees a local Food Bank initiative.
Within St Paul’s there are three open Groups who meet on a regular basis who welcome anyone to join them at any time, the Prayers for Healing Group, the monthly Tuesday Meditation Group (who also share a simple lunch and Holy Communion together) and the Thursday Morning Study Group. Additionally there are a number of ad hoc groups, with no specific membership, who convene for specific purposes at irregular intervals, e.g. Advent and Lent bible studies on Sunday mornings and property and gardening work parties.
The Prayers for Healing Group
People gather between 10am and 11am on the first Monday of the month to offer prayers for healing for people and situations in need of the Holy Spirit's comfort. We follow a simple liturgy from the Iona community. Although the Group is open to anyone, those also involved in visiting are required to join the PVG Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.
The Thursday Morning Group
The Group meets regularly in the Meeting Room for prayers, fellowship and discussion. Currently it comprises around 7-8 regular members and is led by a member of the congregation.
Communication with the congregation is maintained by a weekly pew leaflet, a monthly newsletter and within the wider community through the Kinross Community Newsletter.
St Paul’s is a finely balanced congregation which may be considered to be at a religious crossroads. We have our traditionalists and our progressives, senior members and very young members, established families and new families, and even some teenage members. Leading such a diverse group of people is a considerable challenge, balancing the needs of the traditionalists with those of the modernists, the quiet contemplative worship usually preferred by our senior members with the more upbeat worship that appeals to younger people and families.