Friday, 15 June 2012

That the Assembly resolve to

place on record its appreciation for the service of Mr Malcolm Gledhill as chairperson of the Assembly’s Legal Reference Committee for the last 15 years.

Malcolm has brought to the role a great depth of knowledge regarding the Uniting Church and its various arms and agencies, informed as much as anything by his personal involvement in the UCA in many and varied contexts. This personal experience and knowledge has proved invaluable on many occasions and has helped steer the Committee when what sometimes appear to be entirely abstract questions arise from one UCA body or another.

Malcolm has seen his role as Chairperson as being far more than just chairing a meeting. Malcolm has led by example in the way he has prepared for the agenda of meetings and undertaken major tasks of drafting and preparation for the many and varied tasks that have been placed before the Committee.

Apart from this wealth of personal knowledge and experience, Malcolm is above all a careful and diligent lawyer, and in his role as chairperson of the Legal Reference Committee has always been concerned that proper attention and consideration be given to the work which the committee has before it. Malcolm has usually been the first person to remind the members of the Committee of the need to consider the Constitution when thinking about the options in front of it. Malcolm has always been a person who attends to the full range of issues and is not prepared to rush onwards if care is needed in the service of a better result.

In addition to serving on the Assembly’s Legal Reference Committee he has also often been the nominated member to attend meetings of the Assembly. Those members of the Assembly who are long-term attendees will be able to testify to Malcolm’s insistence that the “i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed”, not in some mechanical or pedantic way, but with the church’s purposes and mission firmly in his sights.

Malcolm has always understood his contribution to the “law of the church” to be a ministry of service to its mission. He has always acted with grace and generosity towards those who serve with him even when their legal skills were no match for his own. In addition Malcolm has been a most caring and thoughtful leader, attuned to the various pressures and personal circumstances faced by the committee members.

Malcolm, in his typically humble fashion, leaves the chairperson role, but not the committee itself, where he will continue to serve. The Church is grateful for his wisdom, knowledge and grace; and his ongoing commitment to the service of the Church and it’s Lord.