Dreghorn and Springside Accounts 2024

Thursday, 06 June 2024

Dreghorn and Springside Accounts 2024 with The ASM minute from 2023


The Annual Stated Meeting of Dreghorn and Springside Parish Church for 2022 was held on Sunday, April 30th 2023 at 12.15pm in the Church hall.


The Moderator, Rev Jamie Milliken presided and the meeting was constituted with a reading and prayer.



The Moderator welcomed everyone to the Annual Stated Meeting for 2022 – 2023 and then called on the Session Clerk, Mrs Sheena Henderson, to report on the

progress of the church during the past year.


Report by Session Clerk

The Session Clerk recalled that it is a year since the church changed to the Unitary Constitution and the committee system now looking after specific areas of church life seems to be working quite well.  So far the committees are: Finance, Property, Pastoral Care, Hall, Social Events, Eco and Communication. Their members are mostly elders but she hoped more members of the congregation would step

forward to join these committees and invited anyone interested to contact her.


She reflected that our Communion services were changed by Covid and this has continued for the past year but she hoped there would be a partial return to a

normal Communion from next month, but with some social distancing

alternatives. She reminded the meeting that Communion next month has been moved to May 14th because of the Coronation.


The Session Clerk commented briefly on the amalgamation of 6 Presbyteries into the Presbytery of the South West of Scotland which has now taken place, and on the new Presbytery Mission Plan for the Irvine churches. The latter, after some delay, has recently been approved by the General Trustees in Edinburgh and so can now proceed. However, the finer details of the Irvine union have still to be

discussed. The Session Clerks and elders from all the Irvine churches have

recently met together with the Presbytery Adjustment Committee. She hoped a

report will be forthcoming.


One of the main events to affect us this year was the closure of our main hall. There was a great deal of work involved in organising the repairs to the ceiling, the installation of the new lighting and reorganising the use of the hall. The

Session Clerk thanked Jim Heron and the Property Committee and Lorraine McGhee and the Hall Committee,  for all their hard work in getting the repairs done and the hall reopened as quickly as possible.  There will be ongoing repairs to the electrics in the hall as well as painting being carried out during the Summer months. A replacement window will be fitted in the upper hall next month as a fire safety window. It is hoped that the work will not interfere with organisations using the hall. It was explained that we were only able to proceed with the work because Presbytery had given permission on the grounds of Health and Safety. Until all changes brought about by the Presbytery Mission Plan are fulfilled no church is

allowed to renovate its buildings, except on health and safety grounds or for routine maintenance.


Turning to the subject of our outreach work in the community, our church is still in partnership with Mure Relief church to support Crossing Together, the new church plant in Bourtreehill. The monthly intergenerational services are a chance for a more informal approach to faith and are beginning to attract more people. Recently new projects have been started, such as the ‘New to Me’ clothes



Our Messy Church meetings each month were very successful until November last year when the hall closed for repairs. The first Messy Church of 2023 was this month when we welcomed back, a good crowd of parents and children so the hall was buzzing. The informality of sharing a meal together, chatting and getting to know people is an important part of Messy Church and there is, of course, a great deal of preparation going on by a team of people behind the scenes. They share a belief that this kind of outreach into our community is important and the Session Clerk thanked all of them for their time, their energy and their enthusiasm.


Our Sunday School is another part of our mission work in the community.

Although the number of children attending has dropped since Covid, the remaining children are as enthusiastic as ever about taking part in the service on a Sunday and about the contribution they make to our Christmas, Easter and

Harvest celebrations. Thanks go to all the people who give up their time to

interact with our young people.


The Bible Study Group and the Prayer Group have continued on Zoom with a small, but very loyal, band of folk extending their knowledge of God’s word through study and discussion and keeping us all in their prayers. New members to both these groups are always welcome.


Communication has become more and more vital in this technological age and the use of our camera and screens which enable us to communicate our faith and share our worship with the outside world, has now become normal.

Thanks were given to David Watkins and the team who operate all the technology which we really appreciate each Sunday. Although outside influences beyond their control have caused occasional headaches for them recently, these will hopefully be able to be sorted out soon 

Our thanks also go to the Moderator for typing the hymns, putting up the notices each week and providing images and words, providing us with a visual element to our worship which provides depth and focus.

 A big thank you was also given to Gil MacDonald who provides a wonderful

service to the housebound in the congregation with his audio recordings of the service each week and with his pastoral visits to deliver them.

Thanks, too, to Frank Henderson for his work on the Church magazine and to David Watkins for the upkeep of our website, both important for promoting the church’s message outside its walls.


The Sunday Teas and the Coffee Club on a Tuesday have reopened after the hall closure, providing a friendly atmosphere and a comfortable space to chat, thanks to the team who work behind the scene. Thanks are also due to the Social Events Team who organise all our events so well and who will be on duty again for the Coronation lunch for the congregation.


The Session Clerk thought that the church has been extremely fortunate to have had 3 people joining the ‘team’ in the past year. Graeme Doyle has taken on the Data Protection role, Sandy Stevenson has taken over as Church Officer and Richard Gale has become Health and Safety Officer. All these roles can be quite complicated and time-consuming and we are very glad to have competent people in place.

Other people who have been connected with the church this year are Clarke Muir who was here as a Candidate for Ministry and Rob Thomson who has been working with the Moderator. Rob has been busy behind the scenes, visiting Shalom, taking part in the Bible Study group, doing pastoral visits and assisting in the

assemblies at the local schools as well as doing his youth work at Fullarton church. In September Katrona Templeton will be working with the Moderator as part of her training as an OLM, an Ordained Local Minister. Katrona is presently a Mission Pioneer in the Kilmarnock area.


Monthly visits to Shalom and also the sharing in school assemblies are important ways in which our church reaches out into our community, to the oldest and the youngest and both equally valued. The services at Shalom are a way of

connecting the residents to the church again through hymns and chat and everyone is welcome to take part.


This summer the Dreghorn Gala  will be taking place once more. The church

members have been asked to help serve tea and coffee on the Gala day. Any

volunteers will be welcome.


The Session Clerk expressed her personal thanks to everyone who stepped up to help in the church when she was ill recently. This help was much appreciated.


At the beginning of our service we bring in the Bible and place it in the pulpit.

This simple act reminds us that the word of God is why we are here and it gives a focus to our worship. If you would like to share in this important part of our

worship by bringing in the Bible or by reading in the service, please contact the Session Clerk. 

The Session Clerk read a short property report from Jim Heron who apologised that he was unable to be at the meeting.


Property Report


The Property Convenor reported that the Quinquennial inspection of our church buildings has been carried out by an architect appointed by Presbytery. As yet we have not received a report back from Presbytery.

All buildings appear to be sound. A few minor faults were pointed out. Some of these have been repaired and the rest are in hand.

Other items of note include:


1). The church hall ceiling has been newly tiled and new lighting installed. 

It is intended to redecorate the woodwork in the main hall to a lighter colour

during the summer recess.

2). P.A.T. (Portable Appliance Testing) has taken place in the halls and will also be carried out in the church. The wiring and electrical boards in the hall will also be updated.

3). A new dishwasher has been installed in the kitchen.

4). Portable racks have been purchased for the storage of the tables in the hall.

5). A new fire escape window is to be installed in the upper hall during the



The Property Convenor thanked Mrs Lorraine McGhee, Hall Convenor, for her help in maintaining the halls. He concluded by asking that any issues regarding

property be referred to him or to any of the Property Committee.


The Session Clerk then called upon the Treasurer, Mrs Irene Stevenson, for the

finance report.


Finance Report


The Treasurer referred to the analysis of the accounts for 2022, which had

previously been circulated, and stated that today she intended to highlight the main points.

2022 was the first year since Covid that our doors were open and so the income donated through the open plate has increased since the previous year. However, the increase is not as good as it seems as the church was closed for 7 months of 2021. We are able to claim tax back on the cash in the plate through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme as well as through the offerings received from people who have signed up to Gift Aid. The Treasurer thanked Mrs Mary Gillan, our Gift Aid Convenor, for processing our claims which amounted to £9,932.39. She

invited anyone else who pays Income Tax to consider signing up to the scheme.


Other sources of income include the contribution from the hall lets and the total from the Christmas Fayre, a magnificent £2,579.87.

Our charitable giving in 2022 amounted to £4,298.17. This was passed onto the DEC Appeal for Ukraine, the Food Larder in Springside, Christian Aid and CHAS. Money was donated so that food hampers could be distributed, through both local primary schools, to families in need.


Our total income in 2022 was increased by £5,152.39 from 2021. Although this was good news, it is difficult to get a true comparison as the church was closed for 7 months in 2021and some items of expenditure have increased in in 2022.

For example in 2022:

  • the Ministry & Mission contribution (the amount we send to Edinburgh each year) rose by 16.5%
  • the cost of pulpit supply rose by 72.8%
  • the organist’s costs rose by 27.4% - his first increase since 2015.
  • the hall cleaner’s costs rose by 189% - no need for a cleaner for 7 months of 2021
  • heating and lighting rose by 57% - the oil for the church rose from £484 in 2021 to £1400 in 2022

Total expenditure in 2022 came to £92,12.29 which was £7,075.60 more than the income generated. Our investments have also gone down since 2021 by £6,216.


The Treasurer warned that the shortfall will only get worse. In 2022 no major work was undertaken but already this year we have had substantial repair work and we are committed to ensuring that our buildings are kept safe and in good



She went on to thank the Finance Committee for their work and their support.

She commented that the work of the Church depended on the continued financial support of our Church family. Whether this is through freewill envelopes, Gift Aid or directly into the offering box, it is greatly appreciated and she thanked everyone for their contribution.


 Moderator’s Remarks


The moderator began by giving an update on the process towards union, including an overview of the Presbytery Mission Planning Process:

  • that all existing elders have a right to be on the new Kirk Session,
  • that the future retention of buildings will be decided on their missional merit,
  • the two years for deciding which buildings to retain would start at the time of the union,
  • that we would have a team ministry approach including Rev Neil Urquhart, the Moderator, Readers, and worship leaders, and occasional retired ministers,
  • consideration will be given to the best manses to be retained, taking into consideration location, standard, and energy efficiency. 

 The Moderator reported that Rev Urquhart and himself were meeting frequently  He felt that they were already working well as a team ministry, active in both local secondary schools for interactive 50 minute assemblies at Easter, Remembrance, and Christmas. He encouraged other office holders eg Session Clerks, Treasurers etc to also meet to discuss issues pertaining to their work.

He spoke briefly on the work of Crossing Together, about the new initiatives and  advising of the next worship service and forthcoming special events.

The Moderator commended the monthly Messy Church meetings and thanked the

existing volunteers. He also encouraged more people to become involved.

He closed by thanking all those who work so hard for the Church and its work in the community.


The meeting was closed with the benediction.