2024 Commission of Assembly


The Commission gathered on Tuesday morning, May 7th, within Assembly Hall, Melbourne, with the Moderator, Rev Ian Hutton, in the chair. It began with a rendition of ‘To God be the glory’ and a brief devotion based on Joshua 2:8-14 by the Moderator’s Chaplain, Rev Luke McSeveny, and then the business began.

A Moderator Designate

One of the important tasks given to the Commission is the election of the next Moderator Designate for the upcoming PCV Assembly. Through a ballot, Rev Ian Hutton (retired minister and the current Moderator) was elected to that position again. Ian addressed the Commission requesting prayer for him and his wife Anne, that God might continue to enable them to complete this year – and then another – as Moderator and wife. The Commission then committed them to our faithful God in prayer.

A new Clerk

The Clerkship Committee had been tasked with bringing forward a nominee for the position of full-time Assembly Clerk, commencing 1 July 2024.The nominee brought forward by the Presbyteries was Rev Cameron Garrett (currently the Minister at Morwell Presbyterian). Cameron was unanimously elected to fill the vacant position. The Moderator led the Commission in prayer, giving thanks to God for Cameron’s gifts and abilities that suit him for this important task within the life of our denomination. He was also granted a seat on the Presbytery of Gippsland, withing whose bounds he will reside. Further, Rev Philip Burns was elected as ‘Acting’ Assistant to the Clerks until a permanent appointment to this position can be made.

Finances, finances…

One of the main subjects that the Commission must deal with is money, especially the setting of the GMP program for the coming year as well as the stipend, superannuation and travel rates, as well as the budgets for all the PCV Assembly Committees for 2024/25. These matters are presented through the reports of the Board of Investment and Finance (the Chairman is Mr John Walter) and the Maintenance of the Ministry Committee, (the Convener is Elder Colin Morrow). The matter of guidelines for assessing who is eligible for exempt benefits from the Fringe Benefits Tax is now a matter that the October Assembly will consider.

More steps forward for the PCV Archives

Members of the Commission were updated on the progress of the development of the site at 690 Elgar Road, Box Hill North, adjacent to the Presbyterian Theological College.

Sale of properties

The Commission received and acted upon petitions from the Presbytery of Melbourne East regarding the proposed sale of the St Kilda church, the Presbytery of South West Victoria regarding the sale of the church property at Heywood, and the Presbytery of Western Victoria, concerning the sale of the manse at Ballarat North. Further, the Commission granted permission to the St Kilda, Bannockburn and Clifton Hill congregations to use funds held in the name of these congregations in the Sites Reserve account for the upgrading of existing properties and the meeting of existing financial needs.

From casual to permanent part-time at PTC

To keep in line with changes to employment regulations, the lecturing staff at PTC who are regarded as ‘casual’ now need to become ‘permanent part-time’. This means that changes will be needed to Theological Education Committee regulations to reflect this move. These will be reported on at the October Assembly.

We rejoice that the day’s business was completed in faith and with warm fellowship, and we pray that together we might continue to be able to say like God’s people of old;

“The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”

Psalm 126:3

Rev Philip Burns
Acting Deputy Clerk

A PDF of the above can be found here.