In the Church of Scotland ruling elders are elected by the Kirk
Session and ordained by the minister of the parish. They are
answerable to the Kirk Session. Like a Minister the elder is
ordained for life. Elders also have pastoral responsibilities, which
they carry out under the guidance of the minister. Kenmure's
parish is divided into elders' districts and the elders are expected
to visit members in their district on a regular basis. As a
consequence the Elder becomes the listening ear, to ensure that all
spiritual concerns of the congregation are acknowledged and
fully discussed, on a regular basis.
To obtain the broadest spectrum of opinion, most Kirk Sessions
employ a widely based age group of Elders, which enables the life
long Christian experience of some, to be put into the discussion
pot along with the vital contribution of the younger colleagues.
The above may provide a broad indication of Session business,
with its purpose to always put God at the centre of all decisions,
based on His teaching, and to His ultimate Glory.
Certainly during the Church's history, there have been many
changes to rules of Session. For example the General Assembly
changed its legislation to allow women Elders in 1966, though it
was not until February 1990, that Kenmure ordained Mary
Houston, Ruth James and Myrette Cowan to the Eldership, with
others regularly following. In 2006 Kenmure Kirk session,
numbers 12 Ladies in its ranks. Another more recent change, has
resulted in all Elders, being placed, in one of four committees
which cover, Worship, Mission, Education and Social Needs of
Church Life. More recently the Kirk Session decided to employ a
full time Youth Worker.
It is worth reminding all members that Kirk Session meetings, are
open to all, and 8/9 meetings are held each year.
The changes in Session business over the last 100 years have been
colossal, but one original need remains - the prayers and support
of all members for Kirk Session deliberations.
You would perhaps express some surprise, if you looked back at a
couple of items, taken from Kirk Session minutes of yesteryear.
They were urged to 'provide a list of fit young men, for military
service and to elect a representative to be present at the coffining
of the corpse to ensure that the deceased is well wrapped up in a
Scots linen shroud'. This was to ensure the viability of the linen
Certainly not too many of today's Elders would enjoy facing such
a discussion, but one hundred years from now, what might be the
reflected comment on ours?
Kenmure has been very well served over the last hundred years,
by seven Ministers. It has been recorded by each, that the
contribution, along with the support provided by Elders has
considerably eased their burdens, and assisted in the spiritual
welfare of the congregation. Our prayer is that with God's help.
Kenmure Kirk Session can face bravely the many ongoing
challenges to its life and conviction over the coming years.
Kenmure Kirk Session - 2006
Back Row: Jack Crawford, John Stevenson, Tom Jobson, Gordon
Strong, Jim Wright (Treasurer), Ewan MacLeod, Sandy Brownlie, Donald
Middle Row: Willie Thomson, Bert Bell, Lesley Shaw, Ailie Kidd, Mary
Houston, Wilma Cox, Moira Calderwood, Myrett Cowan, Christie Johnstone,
Ian Thomson, Eric Forrester,
Front Row: Christine Cameron, Jacqueline Murray, George Reid (Session
Clerk), Iain Laing (Minister), Peter McFarlane (Senior Elder), Jennifer
McLennan, Rebecca Wallace.
Absent: David Munro, Evelyn Glasgow, Jack Campbell, John Anderson and
The position of Presbytery Elder is probably not understood by the
majority of any congregation, so perhaps it might be best to
clarify just what a Presbytery of the Church of Scotland does. The
Presbytery is a regional court of the church. Kenmure is a member
of the Presbytery of Glasgow. The Presbytery is the second senior
court of the church - only the General Assembly being of greater
The Presbytery Elder is appointed by the Kirk Session and
represents his own church at the meetings of the Presbytery. Each
church is entitled to one representative and there is a parity of
numbers between ministers and elders. Additional elders are
appointed to balance ministers not in charges, (e.g. retired, hospital
The Elder is entitled to speak in Presbytery and is generally
appointed to at least one committee where a great deal of work is
done, although this must all be ratified by the full Presbytery.
The Presbytery in Glasgow meets nine times a year and is open to
all although only the members may speak and vote. One exception
to the openness is in matters of discipline or dealing with matters
personal to a member which will be taken in private.
A vast number of matters are discussed e.g. mission, church law,
appointment of ministers, fabric of buildings and many more.
1962 - 1969 John Wright
1969 - 1978 William Beveridge
1978 - 1998 John Cormack
1998 - 2001 John Stevenson
2001 - 2004 Willie Thomson
2004 - to date Jack Campbell
He lived in Rosedale, Brackenbrae Avenue and was a civil servant
but from an early age had leanings towards the theatre as an
entertainer. After service in World War One he studied as a tenor
vocalist and became a semi-professional singer and compere with
the Glasgow Concert Party - The Caledonians and on his
retirement he visited pensioners clubs to entertain them with his
Sir Harry Lauder in Story and Song. He was also active in Kenmure
Men's Own Sunday Meeting. He was Convenor of the Plays and
Concert Sub-Committee of Bishopbriggs War Memorial Hall Fund
and an elder in Kenmure serving as Presbytery Elder for seven years.
The Presbytery is the court of appeal for all matters which are dealt
with by Kirk Sessions, as well as having the power to review
decisions made at congregational meetings. Each congregation is
visited once in every five-year period by members of Presbytery
(who are known as presbyters), when its spiritual well-being and
congregational activities are examined.
The objective is to encourage and advise the minister, Kirk Session
and congregation, and to draw to their attention to any matters which
appear to be unsatisfactory or not in accordance with Church law.
This used to be referred to as a quinquennial visitation, but is now
simply called a Presbytery Visit.
1879 Assessors were appointed by the Presbytery, James
Reid and William Hamilton
There was no official Kirk Session until they were 'passed as fit' in
1879 - 1887 pro tem William Spiers
1887 - 1895 pro tem Robert Turnbull
1895 - 1897 pro tem William Spiers
1897 - 1902 pro tem John McDowell
1902 - 1929 Neil McEachron
1929 - 1932 Robert Crerar
1932 - 1941 David Y. Macbeth
1941 - 1944 John Dalrymple
1944 - 1959 Duncan Robertson
1959 - 1962 James Penman
1962 - 1978 William Beveridge
1978 - ???? Edward Crane
???? - 1987 Christopher Darnbrough
1987 - 1997 Neil Graham Beveridge
1997 - to date George Reid
Charles Heriot writes in Kenmure's Centenary Magazine 1979 that
in 1962 when the Vacancy Committee visited Greenbank Church to
hear him preach, 'I had been told that they had arrived, even
before they were out of their cars, and on entering the Church I
knew exactly where they were sitting'. He must have impressed
them as he was their chosen candidate.
On another occasion a member of the vacancy committee noted
'This candidate might be too revolutionary in his methods for
Kenmure'. Advice was also given to one committee not to forget to
place advertisements in the Dundee and Aberdeen newspapers.
In 2003 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland changed
the process. References are no longer required and the vacancy is
now made by a nominating committee from the church overseen
by the Presbytery.
The Board of Management
At present the Board of Management consists of the Minister, and
eighteen other members made up from equal number of elders
from the Kirk Session and representatives from the congregation
on a three year basis, nominated at the Annual Stated Meeting.
The terms of reference of the Board are to be responsible for the
financial affairs of the church and the maintenance of all church
The Minister, Iain Laing oversees all business relating to the
Board of Management such as chairing the meetings. The Clerk to
the Board, at present, Tom Jobson, deals with all correspondence
in connection with board business. The Clerk is also responsible for
recording and reading the minutes of board meetings. He also
liaises with the Minister and other Board members about church
buildings, halls and the manse as well as heating systems and
certain contents. Decisions are then processed by the Fabric
Convenor, at present, Christie Johnstone, and the up-to-date
situation regarding job estimates, work carried out or about to
start is reported to the members.
Harvey Calderwood is at present the Halls Convenor looking after
anything in connection with the halls and other miscellaneous jobs
that occur in the day to day running of the church.
The other members of the Board contribute to routine business
discussed at meetings giving advice, comments and at times vote
on matters arising. They also participate in the church service, on
door duty, uplifting the Offering and counting the collection later
along with a team leader who banks the money.
Kenmure Board of Management 2006
Back row: Eric Forrester, Ewan MacLeod, Ian Thomson, Christie
Johnstone, Harry Boyd, Jim Simpson, Jim Wright, Victor
McLennan (Church Officer), Tom Jobson (Clerk to the Board),
Front row: Ailie Kidd, Hilary Clews, Anne Strong, Iain Laing, Wilma
Cox, Heather Cox, Susan Watson.
Absent: Cameron Marlow, Jennifer McLennan.
Over the years there have been several church officers or as they
used to be called - the beadle. The church officer prepares the
church and halls for services and events and takes his instructions
from the Session Clerk but is paid by the Board.
Born in 1846 he was a member of the first mission and founder
member of the church. He was a 'weel kent face' in Bishopbriggs.
An elder, and the oldest member, he presented Mr Dick with a gold
watch on behalf of the members in recognition of the minister's 25
years of service at Kenmure at the Semi-Jubilee Social in November
1904. On his 80th birthday in 1926 the residents of Ruskin Square,
where he had lived since his wedding, gave him a pipe, tobacco and
a pouch plus a walking-stick. By this time he had a long beard and,
fond of being out-of-doors, was often to be found with other old
worthies near the old tram terminus opposite the school - now the
In 1919 a presentation social was arranged and Mr Dick handed
over a wallet of notes from the congregation in recognition of his
long service to Kenmure. At the Jubilee Social held in November
1927 his daughter accepted a gift on his behalf for his services as
Church Officer, Board Member and 50 years a member. He was too
frail to attend and died shortly afterwards.
On his retiral from 15 years as Church Officer, 1940-1955, he was
presented with a wireless set at a social function in the church hall.
I was appointed Church Officer at the start of 1983 when Mr.
Jones was the minister and Ted Crane was the Session Clerk. My
duties varied and I rang the bell for morning and evening services
as well as carrying in the Pulpit Bible and placing it on the lectern
and attending to opening and closing the doors.
My duties for Communion were to lay out the table, fill the wine
glasses and place them on the Communion table.
I attended to the Church Hall which was in Schoolfield Lane,
painting and cleaning as well as attending events. I also attended
to cleaning the Williamson Hall at the church, built in 1935, and
named after the then minister, Rev. Allan Williamson.
I watched the New Hall being built in 1987 and helped Christie
Johnstone later to join it to the Williamson Hall. I set out chairs
for meetings and put them away the following day.
Along with John Cormack, an elder, I cleaned out the rones of the
church and kept the grass cut. I also helped with redecorating and
repairing the old manse in Coltpark. In 1998 I fell and broke my
hip joint and after having it replaced it was obvious that I was no
longer fit to carry out most of my duties and was asked to resign,
which hurt me very much but I knew within myself it was time to
go. I also helped with the preparation of the Church Magazine for
many years and with the church grounds.
Jimmy celebrated his 80th birthday with a lunch at the Church on
Harvest Sunday 20th September 1998 Jimmy was presented with a
cheque and his wife, Margaret received a basket of flowers. He
thanked the Kirk Session, the Board of Management, the Mother
and Toddlers Group and the Sequence Dance Club for their
1879 - 1888 David Henderson
1888 - 1890 John Gilmour
1895 - ???? Alexander
1904 - 1919 David Henderson
1940 - 1955 John McMinn
1955 - 1964 J.C. Owen
1964 - ???? A. Fisher
???? - ???? J. Ryans
???? - ???? Keith Pickering
1983 - 1998 Jimmy Reid
1998 to date Victor McLennan