Was General Assembly 2016 a Success?


Better late than never!

This was not one of the direct questions in the questionnaire most of the participants filled in.  But, this is a question of huge importance to me, and quite a few others!  So, to try to answer this question I’d like to share my objectives for the Assembly and see if I can find answers to the questions from the questionnaire and the organisers.


I had five ‘corporate’ objectives for Assembly (ie not including my personal objective to survive!)

  1. To complete the business put to Assembly in an effective manner.
  2. To remain within budget.
  3. To provide a balance between worship, socialising and business.
  4. To enable all to be involved and their opinions to be heard.
  5. To be seen by others (eg conference centre staff) as a group living Christian values.


The data for my analysis comes from a number of sources, but the assessment to objective 5 is the only one without robust data.  The analysis is given in the same order as the objectives above.

  1. In assessing this objective, I have turned to a number of the questions from the questionnaire. Note that for this analysis I am reporting the percentage of positive responses (ie adding together the ‘Agree’ and ‘Strongly Agree’ responses).


3d Committee reports well presented? 80%
3e Resolutions well introduced? 77%
3f Debates well managed? 60%
3g Business reflected local issues? 70%
3h En bloc decision making helpful? 89%
3i Consensus helpful? 70%
3j Small group discussion valuable? 71%
3k Parallel sessions helpful? 79%
3l Children’s contribution appreciated? 72%
3m Felt involved & my opinion counted? 82%
Average 75%


  1. The final Accounts for GA 2106 show that a small surplus was made.


  1. Again, there are a number of Questionnaire questions that help with this objective.


4a Worship meaningful? 89%
4b In worship; something for everyone? 82%
4c Bible studies helpful? 78%
4d Balance business, worship right? 77%
Average 82%



  1. There is one Questionnaire question that specifically addresses this objective.


3m Felt involved & my opinion counted? 82%


  1. Feedback has been universally positive. This data does not have a statistical basis, but it is worth remembering that other Assemblies have received some negative feedback.


To avoid a mass of numbers I have taken the average of the results above, recognising that an overall average would be meaningless.


1 Business conducted 75%
2 Budget 100%
3 Balance 82%
4 Involvement 82%
5 Behaviour; Christian values 100%


I think this expresses a very favourable review of our General Assembly, and as such we should express our thanks to those who planned and organised it, those who prepared and presented the business, those who prepared and presided at our worship and a whole host of other helpers from musicians to stewards and conference staff to interpreters.

Now, this does not mean we do not have work to do.  There were a number of comments which have identified areas for improvement (including chairmanship) and we need to work on them.

However, if we want a simple answer to the question ‘Was Assembly a success?’ I think we have to say ‘Yes’.  Praise the Lord.

Alan Yates

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