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Chapter Six

Sabbath School, Sunday School and Junior Church


Sabbath Morning Meeting

An important form of Home Mission work was the Sabbath Morning meeting in the hall. In the early 1900s, the Kirk Session requested the Glasgow Foundry Boys' Religious Society to lend a hand in this work, and while the Session still retained control of the workers, that organisation provided speakers and gave general help with the programme. They were led by a church member, Neil McEachran who was also a director of the Foundry Boys. The age group catered for was 10 to 15. During the economic depression of the 1920s, 60-70 free breakfasts were served every Sunday, paid for by donations from church members. At the Annual Soiree, in January, 1927, held in Kenmure Hall Mr Williamson welcomed mothers and children and Mrs Williamson presented prizes for regular attendance. Mr Thomson and James Robertson, Superintendent, gave talks before the junketing began.

New Year's Treat to the children In 1925 there were 200 children catered for. The members were helped by the Cawder Chapter of the Eastern Star who met in Kenmure Hall. Kenmure Hall was gaily decorated.
In 1927 it was reported that...

Owing to the recent wave of unemployment the New Year's Treat
was given to the poorer children of Bishopbriggs in Kenmure Hall,
Schooolfield Lane on New Year's Day morning.
The attendance of children broke all the previous records and
approximately 350 children packed the hall. James Robertson,
Superintendent of the Sabbath Morning Meeting, Rev. Allan Williamson
and Andrew Rankin spoke. Tea, a poke o' cakes and a hearty meal was served.
It says much for the liberality of the congregation that this treat is provided
annually from voluntary donations by members and organisations
Kirkintilloch Herald 5th January 1927



Sabbath School

In addition a Sabbath School was held in the afternoon. In February 1900 the Glasgow Evangelistic Campaign under the auspices of the Glasgow Sabbath School Union held meetings in Kenmure Church every night for a week at which lime-light lantern lectures were shown. In July 1900, 200 children were taken by farmer's carts to Bogton Farm, Torrance, where there was sports and refreshments. They returned to the village at 9pm. The superintendent up to 1919 was Matthew MacKay.

In 1926 in aid of church funds, A. Allan Beveridge, precentor to the United Free General Assembly, accompanied by Miss Crerar presented, in November, a song lecture, The Songs and Song Writers of Scotland. The Annual Soiree in December 1926 was addressed by Donald Fraser, a member of Kenmure and President of the Northern District Sabbath School Union. Santa called and the prize for the most money collected for the Glasgow Hospital Sunday Fund, was won by Ellen Fraser.

This was a fund which began in 1873 was supported by charity and fundraising. It was needed to help to pay the running costs of all hospitals, including staff wages. Street and house-to-house collections were held annually on Hospital Sunday and Hospital Saturday. Hospital Saturday often saw students and other collectors in fancy dress rattling their cans to encourage giving by members of the public. A hospital line, which a patient must have before treatment could begin, was paid for by donations from firms, Friendly Societies and individuals as all health care had to be paid for up until 1944. Kenmure children had an enviable record in collecting for this fund.

In 1940 they raised 17. Over 50 children took part. The cost of a hospital line, necessary for admittance, was 1.1/- (1.05) In 1944 a letter was received from the head of the Glasgow Hospital Sunday Fund in appreciation of the amount contributed annually by Kenmure children.



Sabbath Teachers' outing (1930s)


In 1950 the Sunday School raised funds to pay for two cots in Tumutumu Hospital, Kenya Colony, besides sending 10 each year to the Hospital Sunday Fund. For Foreign Missions they also collected farthings - a farthing being a quarter of an old penny, 12 of which = 1/- (5p). A Cake and Candy Sale was held in 1923.

The Northern District Sabbath School Union, to which 18 churches were affiliated, held competitions for Sabbath School singing in Cowlairs Church, Springburn. In 1920 Kenmure were the first to win a silver trophy and a certificate and they retained it on many occasions over the years.

Typical of the hymns sung in the Beginner Department when the offering was taken were;

See this little penny it was brought by me
For the little children far across the sea
Hurry penny quickly though you are so small
Help to tell God's children Jesus loves them all

and

Hear the pennies dropping
Listen as they fall
Every one for Jesus, he shall have them all
Dropping, dropping, dropping, dropping
Hear the pennies fall
Every one for Jesus. He shall have them all



On their birthday a pupil took round the velvet offering bag while the children sang

Comes a birthday once again
Happy day oh happy day.
Through the sunshine and the rain
God has brought us on our way




The magazine, Joyful News reports in the first issue that the Sabbath School teachers wanted to have more children attend and a canvas was to be made during the winter. A Sabbath School Anniversary Service was being held in October, 1926, when the children would gather in the church at the morning service 'and be addressed by one eminent in children's work'. A soiree was arranged for Christmas Eve.

In the 1930s a children's flower service was held annually on the last Sunday in July with the flowers and fruit being sent to Eastpark Home for Infirm Children, Maryhill.



Sunday School Outing 1945



Sunday School

It was in the 1940 Financial Report that the name was changed to Sunday School. In 1951 the first Christmas parties were held at which all children received a gift from Santa donated by members of the congregation. Prizes were given for good attendance and to six children who collected more than 1 for Foreign Missions.

In 1962, when Thomas Aikman was Superintendent, the time of meeting was moved from 3pm to 12.30 and it was decided that a fairer method of prize-winning should take place. Rather than prizes for attendance they should be for work undertaken in memorising three passages from Scripture and a Bible examination. There were nine teachers in the Junior Sunday School and over 30 children.

The Primary Department for 3-8 years, led by Nan Tweedie, planned with Mr Heriot that they would attend special services for harvest and at 2.30pm on Christmas Sunday. The Beginner and Primary Departments carried torches and went around the Parish singing Christmas carols.

There was a crisis in 1966 when George Reid left to take up a post with the Boys' Brigade in London it left only four teachers in the Junior Department. In 1968 a Puppet Show raised 16 and Build-a-Brick cards 23, towards the New Hall.

In the magazine for February 1970 we read that the Beginner Departments new hymn, sung to the tune of 'Jesus loves me' is

Jesus loves the Indian boy
with his bow and arrow toy.
Jesus loves the Cowboy too
with his gun and rope lasso.

Not perhaps acceptable in the politically correct climate of the modern day.



Sunday School Outing 1971


There was another appeal made for teachers in 1971. In 1973 John Stevenson became Superintendent. There were four teachers in the Beginner Department for 34 children and complaints were made by members of the congregation about noise filtering through from the Williamson Hall. Numbers were dropping in the Primary section owing to lack of staff. Mission Pennies were collected for Alice Jones, daughter of the minister, a missionary at the Henry Henderson Institute, Sunday School, Malawi.

To celebrate the Centenary of the church the pupils of Wester Cleddens School presented a Flannelgraph to the Sunday School. This was used to tell Bible stories using shadow puppets.

Kenmure were still retaining the Singing Shield and Bible Quiz at the Northern Union events. They held it for many years up to the 1980s. At harvest Thanksgiving in 1982 90 was raised for Alice Jones, Malawi, to provide equipment for the Home Economics Department of the H.H. Institute. They won the Willie Cumming Memorial Trophy for painting, singing and Bible Quiz in 1983.


Jessie Carlisle, Beginner's leader, at the piano, 1988

In 1983 the Sunday School held a sponsored jog and also collected aluminium cans for church funds and in 1986, when Retta Lindsay was Superintendent, Spring Into Action raised 390 for the New Hall fund. Helen Scott, the new Mission Partner, Zambia needed new hymn books and the Sunday School raised 50 in 1988. In the same year on 13th March they hosted The Children's World Day of Prayer in the New Hall at 11.15am.



Christmas Party circa 1988



Junior Church

A decision was taken by Mr Crawford and the teachers that the Sunday School was in need of modernisation so in 1990 the name was changed to Junior Church and instead of the children attending the morning service before going to their own departments they would only visit for special occasions throughout the year. This would give more time to learn about God through song, story, drama and activities. Alison Wright was in charge. The Children's World Day of Prayer was again hosted and Margaret Gray gave readings, David McSporran and Jonathan Willis provided the music.

In 1991, when Iain Laing became minister the decision was reversed and the children once more attended part of the morning service to hear their special address. He involves the children, who vie to take part in a wide variety of tasks posed for them, while illuminating aspects of the Gospel.

In 1994, Anne Strong was leader and contact was established with Tear Fund's Childcare Scheme. A 12 year old boy Mbuvi Masiba from Kenya was 'adopted'. 100 was sent to Helen Scott and 50 to Alison Wright at Bible College. There were 50 children attending the Sunday School and an informal Games Evening was held to let them get to know one another.

To mark the Millennium bulbs were planted in the grounds of the church on Harvest Sunday 1999. In 2000, new learning material was introduced - SALT - Sharing and Learning Together. Anne Strong resigned in 2003 to devote time to the Tear Fund and other interests but it goes from strength to strength in the capable hands of a team led by David Munro with Isobel Saunders, Sandra Chetty and Andrew Strong.





Summer Sunday School

The first Summer Sunday School was held in 1980 and called Children's Church. It was for 5-10 year olds. In 1994 Ruth Laing and volunteers ran one which has been successfully going since then. A wide variety of people volunteer to take part. In 1998 the Bible Class helped with registration and the children were split into 3 groups of 16. They were journalists working for the Good News Club and acted as News Hounds, Press Gangs and Roving Reporters. In 1999 they were led by David Muir. This year the theme of Summer Sunday School is an appropriate, 'Going back in time' with scenes from Mark's gospel, acted out by members of Inspired drama group.



Sunday School Superintendents

19?? Neil McEachran
1919 Matthew MacKay
1920s John McMinn
1927 James Robertson
1940 Henry K.K. Gray
1962 Thomas S. Aikman
1979 John E. Stevenson
1980s Retta Lindsay

Junior Church Leaders

1990 Alison Wright
1994 Anne Strong
2003 David Munro and team



Chapter Seven





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