Iain Whyte’s talk will deal with a problem that occurred after the Disruption of 1843 when nearly 500 ministers left the Church of Scotland, taking many members of their congregations with them, to form the Free Church. In order to build churches for the new Free congregations funding was sought from a range of sympathetic sources. The problem arose when it was accepted from Presbyterian churches in slave-holding communities in America. Needless to say, this was extremely controversial. The Reverend Dr Iain Whyte is a retired Church of Scotland minister who has published three books on attitudes to black slavery in Scotland.
In October 2014 problems with our previous meeting venue forced the Antiquaries to look for a new home. We discovered that the Park Centre in Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, was available on Friday evenings and decided to move there. Two meetings were held in November, including one to make up for the forced cancellation of our October meeting, and a further meeting was held in the Park Centre on 5th December. All three were well attended and many comments appreciative of the ambience of the Park Centre have been received by the Committee. Warm thanks are due to the Society Vice President, Rosalind McMeekin, and the caretaker of the Park Centre, John McLaren, for their part in achieving this smooth transition. However, nothing is ever ‘writ in tablets of stone’ and the Antiquaries Committee is always keen to receive members’ views on options regarding date and place of meeting. Meanwhile we are grateful to have achieved a speedy and apparently painless transition to new surroundings.