HC Deb 12 May 1887 vol 314 cc1685-6
MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)

asked the Lord Advocate, Whether his attention has been directed to the circumstances in connection with a proposal to build a new church in the parish of Pitsligo, County Aberdeen-shire, whereby, against the unanimous protests of the Heritors, the Presbytery, relying upon a very old and all but ob- solete statute, propose to compel the erection of a building to accommodate 1,150 persons, practically the whole church-going population of the parish, notwithstanding that there are several other churches in the parish, and that the attendance at the old church, for which the now one is proposed to be substituted, never exceeds 250 persons; and, should he find the circumstances substantially as stated, is he able to take any steps to prevent this expenditure of public money?

THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. H. A. MACDONALD) (Edinburgh and St. Andrew's Universities)

I do not think that a Presbytery can insist on a church being built to accommodate practically the whole church-going population of a parish; and the Courts of Law have jurisdiction to prevent any Court of Presbytery from overstepping its authority. It is not in the power of the Lord Advocate to take any action in such a matter.