Endowed Territorial Work – Rev. William Smith
William Smith, minister of North Leith and Convener of the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly’s Endowment Committee defended endowments and the territorial ministry at a time when there was a growing movement for disestablishment, particularly promoted by the United Presbyterian Church.
After an opening general lecture on the Church, Smith deals with the constitution of the Church of Scotland, and in particular the reformation polity and the conciliar system as it developed to the 1870s. The next lecture reflects on the work of Thomas Chalmers (prior to 1843) and of Professor James Robertson and the following lecture examines the problems and difficulties encountered in erecting new parishes. Lecture 5 defends endowment through tithes and the drawbacks perceived in voluntaryism and a final lecture examines the social and communal effects of endowment.
The subject will have been of particular interest to the Trust, granted James Baird’s concern and support for the planting of churches.