Re: [Fwd: [AYR] Church officers]
- Hi Phyllis,
Thanks for this. Hope to see you Monday.
Phyllis Ziajka wrote:
> Hi List:Subject: [AYR] Church officers
> This came in on another list I belong to - finally getting around to
> reading it.
> I'm sure it will be of interest to others.
> -------- Original Message --------
Resent-Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 08:42:43 -0600
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 07:43:03 -0700
From: Jim Bundy <jbundy48@...>
> Since I've transcribed so many Kirk Session minutes that mention church
> officers, I thought this note from the Lanarkshire might be helpful to our
> list. Thanks Pat!
> By the way, don't try to sleep through the sermon. :)
> Jim Bundy
> Finally got at my books. One turned out to be not so helpful as I hoped but
> this one:
> DICKSON, Nicholas. The Kirk and its worthies. T.N. Foulis, Edinburgh 1914.
> is a very good read, full of very funny anecdotes.
> The C19 Church Officer or Beadle was effectively the servant of the Kirk
> Session. There was another parish servant usually known as the Minister's
> man, who was just that-- probably often a live-in manservant, coach driver,
> ploughman, keeper of preaching-robes, etc.-- but the Beadle was a Kirk
> Session functionary. Since the Minister was also paid by or via the Kirk
> Session, the Beadle cd give himself airs about being his equal, and many
> did. He was responsible for the day-to-day maintenance
> of the building, for
> seeing that it was cleaned and heated, locked and unlocked at the right
> time, that the plate (dish) for the collection was in the right place, and
> in some parishes he wd be responsible for the Communion Plate (ie the
> goblet and platter, singular or plural, maybe pewter, maybe silver, used
> for serving Communion.) In other places the Communion Elder wd be
> responsible for the Plate.
> The Kirk Session could send him on errands, that is if someone was to be
> summoned to account for their ill-living ways (eg not having been in church
> last Sunday) he wd be sent with the message, or to collect fines. He was
> responsible for the parish jougs (stocks) outside the church and for the
> cutty-stool inside it, and wd deal with leading in the delinquent who was
> to stand penance. In the Free Kirk at least, when it took up a special
> collection round the parish for whatever purpose (fabric fund, missionary
> work, outreach within Scotland-- these are all C21 terms but had their
> equivalent) the Church Officer was sent round to collect the money house to
> On a Sunday he got the church ready, rang the bell for the service, then
> carried the Bible into the pulpit, went back and led in the Minister and
> saw him into the chancel and exchanged bows. During the service he was
> responsible for dealing with stray dogs, dog fights (the shepherds wd bring
> their collies to church), noisy children and sleeping adults, the latter
> quite viciously. There are tales of pouring melted pitch onto women who had
> pulled their plaids up round their heads to snooze through the sermon. At
> the end of the service he wd precede the Minister out of the church very
> solemnly. Some beadles cd be a procession on their own.
> As the Kirk gave up a lot of its civic responsibilities to the judicial
> system, the Beadle lost a lot of his responsibilities, but he/she (our last
> two have been ladies) is still responsible for keeping the building clean,
> locking/unlocking for lets and fo
> r services, minding and humouring the
> heating system, and escorting the minister into church just in case he/she
> gets lost or changes his/her mind about preaching here...
> Yet another link with the past.
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