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Chapter Three

Office Bearers


The Church does not have one person who acts as the head of faith, as that role is the Lord God's. Its supreme rule of faith and life is through the teachings of the Bible. Our Covenanting forebears fought over the principle that 'Jesus Christ is the ane King o' the Kirk'.

The Kirk Session
The members of the Kirk Session are the ruling elders of the church. The minister is the teaching elder and moderator of the Session. The Session, the Presbytery and the General Assembly are the courts of the church.


Kenmure Kirk Session
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 trade.

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.


Bert Bell


Kenmure Kirk Session - 2006

Back Row: Jack Crawford, John Stevenson, Tom Jobson, Gordon Strong, Jim Wright (Treasurer), Ewan MacLeod, Sandy Brownlie, Donald Stevenson.
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 Aileen Atkins


Presbytery Elder
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 importance.

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 chaplains etc.)

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.


John Stevenson


Presbytery Elders
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



John Wright
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.


Congregational Visits
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.


Session Clerks
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 1902.

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


Vacancy Procedure
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 properties.

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.


Ian Thomson


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), Stevie Wood.
Front row: Ailie Kidd, Hilary Clews, Anne Strong, Iain Laing, Wilma Cox, Heather Cox, Susan Watson.
Absent: Cameron Marlow, Jennifer McLennan.


Church Officers
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.


David Henderson
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 library.

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.


John McMin
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.


Jimmy Reid

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 Reid


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 kindness.


Church Officers
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



Chapter Four





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