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Chapter Twelve

Chapter 12

A Busy Decade


In the autumn of 1973 the officebearers appealed for 50p from each member to help defray the cost of the recent repairs and renovation work carried out in the church and the halls. Since the start of the decade lights had been replaced, the stonework at the side and front of the church had been cleaned, the lesser hall had been re-decorated and the tarmac at the church entrance had been renewed but the congregation responded and soon the required sum was raised. The organisations also gave generously when the managers suggested having brightly coloured glass bricks built into some of the church windows to replace the existing stained glass there. Plates beside the windows tell which group or individual donated the money for each of these windows. In the following year, the officebearers appealed to members to think of doubling their offerings for one Sunday while the Paisley Presbytery advised that all members should “consider giving 2p for every pound of their earnings as an offering to the work of God’s Church”.

In 1975, the church was rewired and the lighting renewed. At the same time, estimates were sought for re-roofing the church and halls or for bringing the roofs up to standard. The figure quoted was between three and four thousand pounds though, in fact, the actual cost was to be almost twice that amount. The congregation embarked with enthusiasm on many imaginative fund-raising ventures. They held a plant sale, a concert by the Lynn Players and then another by the Glasgow Amateur Flute Band, a nearly new sale held over three days, a display on the pond in the Robertson Park by the Glasgow Model Boat Club and a supper dance held in the Glynhill Hotel. As the elders visited the homes in their districts they distributed a plastic carrier bag to each family in the hope that members would fill the bag with groceries during July, August and September for sale at the Fayre organised for the October. It is interesting to note that the organisers of the Flower Festival asked for a very practical kind of help – they asked for the use of any spare ground for growing flowers and also for volunteers to dig the ground over! The final total for this 1976 fund raising effort was a magnificent £5,800.

Thoughts also turned to the manse at this time and it was estimated that the cost of upgrading it would be in the region of £3,600. The managers suggested replacing the existing manse with a more modern house and the congregation agreed to allow them “to retain the option of selling the manse if and when another suitable property came on the market”.

It was with great sadness that the members and officebearers learned that, on the 24th January 1978, Professor William Barclay CBE DD had passed away in his sleep. He was remembered with great affection and, in the summer of that year, the congregation had the opportunity to contribute to a fund set up to provide scholarships for divinity students from overseas.

Not all the attention was focused on financial affairs, however. In 1972, the Guide Company presented the church with a Library edition of the New English Bible and a new hymnal for use in the pulpit to mark their 50th anniversary. In June 1973, the social committee proposed that they should organise four congregational socials each year. They were given permission by the Session to go ahead and the first one was held on 6th October that year. The dance and cabaret was “deemed to be an outstanding success”. A year or two later, a Youth Club for 12-16 year olds was started up on Saturday afternoons and then the Session decided to try to restart the social evenings for senior members. This was such a popular move that these evenings soon became a regular feature of life at Trinity. The elders cooked and served the meals and provided transport, a donation from the Men’s Club paid for the necessary dinner plates and soup bowls while an anonymous gift of £200 bought cutlery and a unit for storing the new equipment. Finally, the Scout pipe band was revived and competitions were held at each stage to encourage the players.

About this time concern was expressed about some of the elders who “appeared to have become lax in attendance at meetings or in covering their districts”. It was agreed that Mr Drummond and the Session were to appoint four elders to go in pairs to visit these elders who were showing “a lack of interest” and report back. At the same time, elders were asked to pass in the names of people in their districts who should be visited to see if their “interest in the church could be revived”.

The officebearers and members also looked outwards to what was happening in the community. A joint meeting of the Kirk Sessions of the four Churches of Scotland looked at ways of “increasing church activity in Renfrew”. In the same year the retirement complex at Glendee, for which the minister and elders had campaigned so long, was finally opened and was considered “a fine scheme”. The Renfrew District Council proposed to recognise the completion of twenty-five years service in Renfrew by Rev. James A. Rule of Moorpark Parish Church and suggested that the officebearers of the other three churches might like to contribute to a gift to mark the occasion. In 1980, a letter of protest was sent when a Sunday market was proposed at Braehead and another when an application for an amusement arcade for Hairst Street was lodged. Finally, when the new houses were built at Aranthrue, in Trinity’s parish, a group went out to welcome the families and tell them about the church and its organisations.

In May 1984, plans were already being made for a Spring Fayre to be held the following year. The target was an ambitious one – £10,000. Smartie tubes were filled with 20p pieces, plastic bags were again distributed to members for groceries, there was a plant stall and a nearly new sale, a concert by the Savoy Club and finally the Fayre itself. The grand total, which exceeded all expectations, was £11,207!

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