In reply to the fulsome letter from the Rev Dr Grant Barclay (2 May), may I first of all state that I might be hazy about Church procedure but, having served on the congregational board of my church for more than three years, I know exactly what my congregation pays towards the upkeep of the church halls and manse – a lot!
In Troon (population around 18,000), we have three large Church of Scotland buildings within 100 yards of each other in the centre of the town. Each has a large manse as dictated by 121 George Street, the Church of Scotland, at least five bedrooms of a given size, two public rooms and one room for the minister to meet with visiting clergy – in other words, a substantial house.
In our case, the manse is more than 100 years old, has nine rooms and requires constant attention.
Some four years ago, the three churches were in vacancy but all three continued as active churches – no sign in Troon of the selling of church property.
Of course, Troon is a desirable town in which to bring up a family and the ageing congregations can at present manage to fund the running of these large buildings – but for how much longer?
Margaret A Robertson