Renfrew Trinity Church

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Chapter Thirteen

Chapter 13

A Period of Change


When the Woman’s Guild celebrated their centenary in 1987, the Guild members gifted a projector, accessories and a table to the church. The inscription on the projector’s plaque was in keeping with the occasion – it was made up of exactly one hundred letters. These gifts were presented to Mr Drummond at the Guild’s Centenary Dinner which was held on the 21st April.

After twenty-one years as minister of Trinity Church, Mr Drummond informed the Session on 28th September 1987 that he would be retiring at the end of the following February on “the strongest recommendation of his doctors”. Mr and Mrs Drummond would be missed by the congregation they had served so faithfully for so long and, at the concert given to mark the retiral of Trinity’s longest serving minister, the Session Clerk expressed the church’s good wishes for a long and happy retirement.

 In March 1988, the Reverend A. McDonald was appointed Interim Moderator in the vacancy and the Reverend J. P. Wright was to preach as locum from the end of June. The Paisley Presbytery intimated that Trinity should be allowed to call a minister without restriction and so a vacancy committee was duly formed. The Reverend Andrew Thomson preached as sole nominee on Sunday 28th August 1988 and was admitted and inducted by the Presbytery of Paisley to the Church and Parish of Renfrew Trinity on the 19th October. At this time there were 637 members on the roll.

Originally from Kilwinning, Mr Thomson worked in industry for eleven years before studying for the ministry at the Scottish Congregational College in Edinburgh from which he graduated in 1976. He served in churches in Stewarton, Coatbridge and Campbelton before he accepted the call to Trinity.

Early in Mr Thomson’s ministry a letter of introduction from the church was delivered to the occupants of the recently renovated flats in Paisley Road which faced the manse. Later the same houses were visited by members of the congregation to give further details of church activities.

During 1989 a Session sub-committee was appointed to consider nominations for the eldership. For the first time in Trinity’s history women were to be considered as well as men.

About this time a down turn in finances was reported – there were no further reserves available to make up any shortfall. The church had been losing a few Bonds of Annuity because of redundancies and the movement of members. To make matters worse, dry rot had been found in the gents’ cloakroom. A joint meeting of office bearers was held to discuss the financial state of the church and fundraising followed immediately. Among the events held that year were a congregational concert, a lunch organised by the Scout Group and an initiative to fill Smartie tubes with twenty pence pieces. Members and friends worked hard organising dances, concerts, lunches, a fete, a ceilidh and a sponsored walk. By the end of August 1991 £13,000 had been raised.

On 10th September, the Reverend Andrew Thomson’s letter of intention to demit office at the end of the month due to ill health was ratified by the Paisley Presbytery. The charge was preached vacant on Sunday 6th October and the following week the Reverend John McArthur, who had acted as Interim Moderator during Mr Thomson’s leave of absence, made a presentation to him after the morning service. The Reverend Alistair Morrison BTh, minister of St. Mark’s, Oldhall was appointed Interim Moderator during the vacancy. For the next five months the work of the church continued till, on Sunday 15th March, the schedule for the appointment of the vacancy committee was read to the congregation for the first time and a committee was duly appointed. From the beginning of April the Reverend George McKay occupied the pulpit.

In June 1991, the Reverend James A. Rule minister of Moorpark Parish Church, formerly known as Rutherford Memorial Church, had retired and on Sunday 21st June 1992 the church closed down. This, too, is part of Trinity’s story as the church at Moorpark had grown out of a mission started as an outreach from Trinity.

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