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Chapter Four

Finance


"The guide for all is conscientious giving as the Lord has prospered them"


The Kirk Session and the Board of Management require the Church Treasurer to produce detailed accounts each year and to have them audited. These are then presented to the congregation at the Annual Stated Meeting.

The information gleaned from the Financial Reports of the church highlight two interesting points. One is how great inflation has been since decimalisation in 1971 compared with the slow and tiny growth in the early days and the fact that despite the congregation of Kenmure regularly being described by treasurers as being generous most of the annual income needs to be spent on maintaining the fabric, which is a responsibility placed on the Board of Management by the Presbytery.



1925 Financial Report


In 1925 the Managers were delighted to announce a total income of 427.5/7 (427.26) and a credit balance of 27.1/11 (27.10) the minister's stipend was 135 per annum, the Church Officer earned - 30, the Organist was paid 25 and the Kenmure Hallkeeper - 20. The ladies who visited members monthly to collect for the Central Fund and Missions, money to be paid to Edinburgh, collected 13.5/1 (13.25).

In 1955 the total income for the year was 1712.11/6 (1712.66), the Church Officer received 55, the Organist 55 and the Hallkeeper 45. In 1975 the total income was 5,944.20, the minister's stipend was 1,947, the Church Officer 294, the Organist 220. In 1995 the total income was 43,935, the stipend was 13,436, the Organist - 1,206 and by 2005 the total income was 75,824.



Offerings

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 suggested.

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.



Seat Rents



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 the seat.

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 pew.

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.


Treasurers

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



Chapter Five





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