I’ve made reference in various other blog posts about the 1909 Annual Report and Accounts from New Ardrossan Parish Church which were revealed from behind a hat cupboard, so I thought I’d go into a bit more detail and reveal what the Kirk Session Report contained because I was reminded of it after the electrical problems we had in the church building this week (see my Shocking blog post);
The Kirk Session’s report is the record of a quiet and uneventful year in our congregational history. For many families the past year was a hard one, and we sincerely trust that more prosperous times are in store for all.
Notwithstanding the fact that there have been many removals from our midst, it is satisfactory that we are again in a position to report an increased membership.
On Roll at 31st December 1908 …. 839
Removed – By Death … 16
By Certificate .. 25
Otherwise … 15
Total 56 = 783
Admitted during 1909 –
By Communicating for the first time … 40
By Certificate … 28
By Special Admission … 3
On Roll at 31st December 1909 ….. 854
Being an increase of 15 for the year
Your Session again desire to impress upon members that it should be considered a sacred duty to attend regularly the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It is a most painful duty to have to remove names from our roll because of non-attendance at the Table of our Lord.
In the course of the year 15 couples were married by the Minister; there were 56 baptisms. We should like to see the Sacrament of Baptism more frequently administered in Church.
The introduction of incandescent light into the Church has been found a great improvement, and has added to the comfort of our evening congregation.
The outstanding event of the year was the Sale of Work, opened by Lady Montgomerie, for the purpose of providing funds for repairs upon the fabric of the Church.
It has been arranged that the collections for the Schemes of the Church of Scotland shall be taken as in 1909, and the total sum allocated at the end of the year.
To the workers in our several organisations, the men and women who so devotedly service the Church, we express our indebtedness and extend our most cordial thanks.
Our prayer for our congregation is, that God may increase among us true religion, that more and more we may love our house of prayer, that we may with willing heart and hand render the service which Christ expects from us in His Church.
In name of the Session,
J. Kirkland Cameron, Moderator
A few things worth noting in this report are that the church benefited from incandescent lighting for the first time. A fact I was reminded about this week as, 108 years later, we have upgraded the electrical supply input from the old ceramic fuses to newer, safer units.
A look at the accounts attached to this report showed that 7 pounds, 2 shillings and 5 pence was paid to install the new electrical lighting to the Church.
I wonder if this was the first time they had electric lights in the Church – would they have had gaslights before or candle lights?
Other outgoings included paying the annual salary of the Minister, the Rev. J. Kirkland Cameron; He was paid £120 from the Church of Scotland plus a supplement of £170 from the Church Funds plus a £10 allowance for taking Communion etc. making his annual salary £300 which, when you realise that the average worker in the UK only made £70 per year at this time, you understand that being a Church Minister was a highly paid job.
The bell ringer was paid £5 per year, the organist £35 per year and, strangely as I have never heard of this before, the Treasurer was paid £10 per year. (Don’t tell my Treasurer this 😀 )
I also noted that the accounts made reference to collections for “Sufferers in Southern Italy” and this prompted me to find out why. It seems that the most powerful earthquake ever recorded hit Southern Italy in the early hours of December 28th, 1908 and so devastating was it that I will have to write a separate blog post to give it justice.