Up until 1916 the congregation placed their Offering in a plate in
the vestibule on their way into Worship. In 1916 a decision was
taken that the plates would be passed round the pews by those on
door duty. The Offering was then brought to the front and they
stood until the minister gave thanks in prayer.
In 1926 a plea from the treasurer states that an average collection
of £5 per Sabbath is needed to meet obligations. He comments that
despite the coal strike (part of the General Strike 1926) £4.11/4
(£4.24p) was being reached. It was proposed that every Sunday the
total for the previous week would be announced and should it fall
below £5 appropriate action could be taken by the members to
right this matter. The Fabric Fund was established in 1939.
A red letter day in the history of Kenmure Church was Endowment
Sunday, April 1944. The aim was for a Collection of £100 but the
amount taken was £252 plus £48 from friends outside giving a total
of £300. When this was announced the congregation rose to their
feet and sang the Doxology.
In 1958 the Board reported that especially on a Communion
Sunday the envelopes were falling off the plates. The cost of 4 new
plates would be £3.6/- (£3.30p) but Mr Williamson announced
that they had been given by an anonymous donor. William
Brownlee in January 1969 thanked the congregation for the rapid
response to the appeal of 1968. Also in 1969 there was concern that
when decimalisation came in 1971 there would be no half-crowns
(12p) which members so often put into the plate or envelope and
what would they replace them with.
A Manse Fund was set up in 1962 and members were asked to
contribute 4/- (20p) per week over 10 weeks which should bring in
£840 if everyone took part. Envelopes would be delivered by the
elders and a Target Chart would be put up at the Church door to
show progress. A complaint was made by the treasurer that small
foreign coins were being found in the plate.
The Board decided in 1971 to send out letters to the 200 members
who did not contribute to the Freewill Offering Scheme. This
resulted in 25 agreeing to join, 25 declining and 150 giving no
reply. There were only six Deeds of Covenant in operation in 1974
bringing in £100 tax relief. This scheme is now called Gift Aid and
in 2005 the amount of income from it was £44,475 bringing tax
relief of £12,573.
In 1971 the budget for the following year was distributed with the
Financial Report in order to let the members see the increase
which was needed to obtain these figures. In 1973 there was a drop
in income of £91.57 when an increase of £988.55 was required.
An appeal for donations to the Fabric Fund was sent out in June
1980. The minister, Mr Jones, would be in the Vestry from 7-9pm
on the Friday evening 20th June and in Kenmure Hall 10am-noon
on Saturday 21st June to receive donations. A coffee morning would
also be held on the Saturday. The Appeal remained open until
August 31st and raised £2,883.24. This Givings Day was repeated
on Saturday 19th September 1981.
Once again the minister sat in the vestry to receive money and
thank the members personally or they could place an envelope
marked 'Gift Day' in the plate on the Sunday. Tea and coffee with
biscuits was available in the Williamson Hall. This brought in
£1,786.48 and in March 1983 a Special Appeal realised £1,685
well short of the hoped for total of £5000. In 1986 another such
day brought in £2,273,54.
The church had to learn to live without the income from Kenmure
Hall. In 1988 the Women's Guild held a Christmas Fayre which
raised £775 and in December 1990 a repeat event managed to raise
£1000. There were legacies amounting to £965. An Autumn Fair in
1991 realised £2155 all of which helped towards the re-roofing of
the Church and the Williamson Hall. A Piano Appeal was made in
1994 and £1,700 was raised and another Givings Day in the
Williamson Hall added £2,000.
By 2003 the number using Free Will Offering envelopes had
dropped but this was compensated for by the additional number
who signed up for Gift Aid. There is never enough in the coffers to
meet all that the Board might wish to see carried out. To celebrate
the Centenary of the Church building many schemes have been
The church is fortunate to be situated in a reasonably affluent area.
Kenmure has always had members who have come to their aid in
the past though donations or legacies. Much has also been
achieved by hard work and good will in the past, the present and
no doubt in the future.
In 1972 the Burgh decided to adopt Viewfield Road and to surface
it with tarmacadam. As part owners, Kenmure Church were liable
for a share of the cost and paid £770. They also had to pay £45 for
Coltpark Avenue's adoption as owners of the manse.
From 1906 members paid a set amount in April and October to
rent a family pew. A card was inserted in a brass holder on each
pew stating the renter's name
and the number of seats. People
could supply their own cushions
but there was no shelf under the
pew at Kenmure in which to
store a Bible and hymn book and
some people simply left them on
Seat rents were discontinued in the 1920s in favour of the Free Will
Offering envelopes but reinstated in 1926 when the congregation
voted at a special meeting to depart from the envelope collection
and return to seat rents and the open plate. The income in 1928
was £34.18.0d (£34.90) but it dropped in 1931 and FWO envelopes
were reintroduced in 1934 raising £144.15/2 (£144.76) in
addition to seat rents £31.18/6 (£31.92). The open plate was
always in use in parallel. The 182nd BB paid £4 per year for their
At a special Congregational Meeting on Thursday 4th February
1959 the matter of the abolition of seat rents was hotly discussed.
Mr Williamson felt that new members were most opposed to the
idea of renting a seat but disagreed that 'owners' were reluctant to
allow others to share their pews. Mr Bruce stated that the older
members liked having their own seat and cushion as had their
families before them. It gave a sense of continuity.
As the rents made a large contribution to the finances of the church
it would be necessary to encourage more members to adopt the
FWO and to increase their giving from the recommended 1/6d (7p)
to 2/6 (12p) per week. However it was pointed out that the income
had almost doubled in the previous year.
Mr Coyle mentioned that on a recent Communion Sunday when he
had been on duty and had tried to seat people he was told "This is
my pew". He felt that the church might lose members because of
this attitude. Mrs Penman pointed out that there were 400
members and not enough seats to allocate one to each person.
There were only 12 vacant seats.
A young member of the congregation, Sandy McDonald, later to
become a minister and the Moderator of the General Assembly of
the Church of Scotland spoke out against retaining the rents. He
felt that name cards appeared unfriendly.
At the Annual Congregational Meeting on 21st February 1963 the
matter was once again raised and was still controversial. This time
it was agreed to remove the name cards. Mrs Burnett suggested
that a card stating "You are welcome to this seat" be inserted
instead. Mr Bruce proposed that older members who wished to
retain their seats should be allowed to do so. Seat rents were finally
abolished but some members still gave the money as a donation.
1925 - Arthur Burley
1930 - James Ogilvie
1942 - John Menzies
1950 - Reginald Horsefall
1955 - William Curley
1956 - William Kidd
1968 - William Brownlee
1977 - Harvey Johnstone
1981 - John Palmer
1992 - Jim Wright