ASC had heard that there may be a perception of bias in the choice of the Synod which would handle the appeal. It was considered that would be overcome by the choice of Synod being made on the advice of the Synod’s Standing Appeal Panel (SAP).
The amended regulation gave opportunity to ministers, youth workers and lay preachers to appeal termination decisions if they felt they have not been appropriately dealt with.
Until now, such appeals from congregation placements had been referred to the Assembly General Secretary, who organised an appeal panel in another Synod in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
This process had proven time-consuming, inefficient and in conflict with the intention for the appeals processes to be fast.
ASC took the view that efficiency would be served by the Synod referring the matter to a panel in another Synod on the advice of the Convenor of the SAP.
This change was also expected to further pastoral care in each matter.