A church member has demanded to know what happened to the property and funds of the former Overton Church in West Kilbride.
Mr J H Gemmell has been waging a war of words with the Church of Scotland about how the congregation of Overton was merged with St Andrews to form the West Kilbride Parish Church.
In a letter to the Largs & Millport Weekly News Mr Gemmell, a trustee of Overton, stated: "The roll of membership of the viable Overton Church as at 31 July 2009, was 348 of which 340 persons were members and eight were adherents. These figures were provided by the Rev James McNay, the tenth minister inducted to Overton Church in January 2008.
Whereas the former St.Bride's/St.Andrew's Church, West Kilbride, has been poorly maintained, has few memorials and one stained glass window which commemorates World War I, the recently renamed West Kilbride Parish Church is in a dilapidated condition in need apparently of a £1.3m refurbishment.
In regard to the union of these two congregations the records reveal that of the 348 total membership of the congregation of Overton Church only 60 members, i.e. 17.24% of the membership voted for the union, considerable short of unanimity or even a majority decision. So in repect of the 230 years' old Overton congregation what was the Church of Scotland's basis of the decision to proceed to this union of congregations?"
Full article and a page of views in the Largs & Millport Weekly News of January 18, 2012.