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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 14

The State Church of Scotland

The State Church of Scotland

Is Presbyterian and not Episcopalian: the Queen is therefore head of two distinct State Churches, and now and then the nation beholds the spectacle of certain organs of the Church of England attacking Her Majesty for attending the ministrations of the Scottish establishment. The national revenues of the latter (including manses and glebes) are about £385,000 per annum, while on its own showing it has but 42 per cent., and on other estimates only 36 per cent., of the population. Since 1845 some £2,000,000 of voluntary endowments have come in to this "Kirk," which has 1,432 Churches to 2,312 of the non-established bodies. In the Highlands (Ross, Cromarty, Sutherland, and Caithness,) only 2,300 out of a population of 140,750, communicate in the State establishment (i.e. one in 61), and as typical of the worst extremes we may mention five parishes where the average number of communicants is only (the average endowment of living £210 per annum, and the average population 2,493 per parish), and one parish where the minister has £400 a year for preaching to the Laird and his boy. In the counties above mentioned the total endowment is £21,000 a year for 2,300 members, or £9 per member. Under the voluntary system the free Presbyterians have in nine years raised £8,224,132 for religious objects, while the State Church Presbyterians have only raised £2,588,702 in same interval. There are also about a quarter of a million of Roman Catholics in Scotland, and these, though the poorest portion of the community, provide liberally for their own religious requirements. In 1874, the Conservative Government passed an Act to buy up private patronage in the Scotch Kirk, and vest the right of election in each congregation. This was done by paying in each case the amount of one full year's stipend to these Peers and gentlemen, and deducting the same in four annual instalments from the ministers themselves.

Mr. Thomas Shaw, M.A., LL.B., Advocate, of Edinburgh, in a recent essay on Ecclesiastical Endowments of Scotland (Elliot, Edinburgh), gives the following carefully compiled figures :—

I. The Cost per Annum of the Church to Scotland.
Stipend out of teinds £240,302 4 3
Stipend from other local sources 23,502 11 3
Stipend from Exchequer 16,300 13 5
Communion elements 5,417 2 11
Value of manses 24,733 5 2
Value of glebes 24,631 6 7
Other payments, say 3,000 0 0
Church and manse rates 42,082 14 0
In all £380,919 17 7
II. The Pecuniary Gain to Scotland by an act of Disendowment.
Teinds £240,302 4 3
Other local sources 23,502 11 3
Exchequer 16,300 13 5
Communion elements 5,417 2 11
Manses 24,733 5 2
Glebes 24,681 6 7
Present value of prospective augmentations of stipend 28,925 11 6
In all £363,862 15 1
III. Present Value of Church's Interest in Teinds.
Stipends £240,302 4 3
Communion elements 5,417 2 11
Prospective augmentations 28,925 11 6
£274,644 18 8