The ‘Session’ are a group of members of St. Stephen’s Comely Bank who are trustees of the charity. They are responsible for the practical and spiritual leadership of our church community. These people hold the title ‘Elder’. An Elder is a specific role within the Church of Scotland, elected by the congregation, they have taken a promise to uphold the unity, peace, doctrine, worship, government and discipline of the church.
If you come to St. Stephen’s Comely Bank during a communion service, it is the Elders along with the minister that serve the bread and wine.
Our current session comprises of:
- John Baggaley
- Alison Franks, Finance Convenor
- Donald Bruce, Home Group Coordinator
- Steve Sladdin
- Joan Brown, Safeguarding Coordinator (& pastoral care)
- John Ballantine
- Timothy Pitt, Session Clerk, Presbytery Elder
- Martin Bethell
Born in Edinburgh and starting off life in Penicuick, I moved to Dunfermline when I was 7 and then on to Aberdeen University where I took up fencing, somehow graduated with a law degree and met Elspeth who became my wife. Qualified in Scots and English law, I am a partner in an international law firm where I specialise in offshore renewable energy law in a general commercial law context.
I have benefited from Christian examples, notably my grandmother. My brother led me to Jesus whilst at school, but I promptly rejected Him, finding life increasingly unanswerable and lacking until I came quietly to faith whilst at university. I have been blessed by Elspeth’s love and partnership in our marriage and together we lead Love After Marriage workshops – generally so that we can continue learning! We have travelled a lot and lived abroad for a while. I have developed an obsession for cycling, completing l’Etape du Tour de France 5 times and cycling 250 miles in a day as key achievements. I delight in seeing our sons grow and develop and although I am often distracted by the busyness of life, I have a sense of just being complete and fulfilled when I can spend time with Elspeth.
My personal mission statement is: Loving and serving God, cherishing and loving Elspeth and our boys in truth and using the Holy Spirit’s giftings in order to learn and enable others to have the joy of fellowship with Jesus.
I seek to honour God in activity, learning and having fun; in teaching and operating in truth; in discerning and rejecting that which is not from God; and in showing Elspeth and the boys the love which I have for them thereby gaining my strength from God.
In my working life, I describe myself as a charismatic lawyer and leader who integrates commercial reality with legal requirements. An effective, natural communicator and influencer who identifies patterns and opportunities, working collaboratively and with a sense of fun to build strong and lasting relationships. An enthusiastic and proactive commercial lawyer who analyses, diagnoses and negotiates to deliver functional contracts.