HC Deb 04 May 1905 vol 145 cc904-7
MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)

To ask the Lord Advocate whether he can now state the number of churches now in possession of the legal Free Church,, distinguishing the number in their possession at October, 1900, and those subsequently obtained by interdict or otherwise in consequence of the House of Lords judgment; the number of notices of ejectment from their manses recently served on ministers of the United Free Church, and the form of such notice; and will he specify according to counties the number of churches held by the legal Free Church, and the number of manses to which the notices as above were sent.

(Answered by Mr. Scott Dickson.) According to my latest information I believe the following figures correctly give the facts desired by the hon. Member: At the present time the Free Church is in possession altogether of 121 churches or thereby. Of these thirty were retained by the Free Church at October, 1900. The remainder have been regained since that date, the great majority of them since the judgment of the House of

Name of County. Number of Churches Held. Number of manse notices issued.
Argyll 13 17
Aberdeen 1 0
Ayr 3 4
Bute 8 6
Caithness 7 8
Dumbarton 1 1
Edinburgh 2 1
Elgin 1 1
Fife 3 1
Forfar 1 0
Inverness 15 27
Lanark 4 1
Nairn 1 1
Orkney 0 1
Perth 1 4
Renfrew 1 1
Rpss 39 32
Sutherland 10 9
Totals 121 115

Lords 1st August last. Forty-two have been regained by processes of interdict. One hundred and fifteen notices in terms of the annexed print were issued to ministers of the United Free Church on 3rd ultimo.

Note.—According to Counties of the number of Churches held by Free Church and number of manses to "which above-mentioned notices were sent.

Form of Notice.

18, Hcriot Row, Edinburgh.

3rd April, 1905.

Reverend and Dear Sir,

Free Church.

On behalf of the Free Church of Scotland and this congregation, we are instructed to intimate to you that the manse pertaining to the congregation at present occupied by you may shortly be required for the use of a minister of the Free Church. Our clients desire to arrange with you amicably as to your removal which, in the circumstances,you will no doubt recognise to be inevitable. We shall therefore be glad to have from you an undertaking to remove at May 28th next, or so soon thereafter as may be required by our clients, on your receiving from them one month's previous notice in writing. If you do not see your way to give such an undertaking, we shall be under the necessity of taking proceedings in Court against you. Kindly let us hear from you in course. Meantime, and unless otherwise arranged, you will please accept this letter as formal notice to leave at May 28th next.

Yours faithfully,

To the Reverend

United Free Church Minister.