A slice of history

The charity was formed in 1791 and celebrated its 225th Anniversary in 2015.  It was formed in Glasgow (hence the name of the Society – though there is no geographical limitation to membership or charitable aid) to support (initially) sons of deceased Church of Scotland Ministers in preparation for gainful employment in a profession or trade and in cases of hardship.  The original constitution stipulated an annual service of thanksgiving which continues to this day.  Over the years daughters, and children of living ministers were added to the beneficiaries.



225th Anniversary Celebration


Wednesday 25th March, 2015


A special service  was held in the East Chapel of Glasgow Cathedral,  led by Rev Laurence Whitley, the minister of Glasgow Cathedral,  himself a ‘Manse Bairn’. 

A birthday cake proudly displayed 225 years of the Glasgow Society of the Sons and Daughters of the Clergy,  now known as the ‘Manse Bairns Network’.

Rev Ian Davidson,   one of the longest-serving members of the Society,  cutting the cake, with Col Mike Louden, retiring Chairman, at the lunch preceding the AGM in the Cathedral Hall.

Among the 43 members attending was The Very Rev Bill Hewitt, a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland,  currently Presbytery Clerk of Glasgow Presbytery,  who gave an inspiring talk about the history of the Society.

The original Constitution document of the Society, signed in 1790 

Nerys Turnicliffe,  on behalf of the City Archives,  Mitchell Library,  received the document from Col Mike Louden for retention under appropriate conditions for an historic document.   It will be available to view at the Mitchell Library by anyone interested.

View an enlargement of this document here.

The updated Manse Bairns Network (Sunday name:  the Glasgow Society for the Sons and Daughters of the Clergy of the Church of Scotland) has recently featured at the  2016 National Youth Assembly in Gartmore. 

The Youth Assembly always attracts a few young people who have been brought up in Manses,  and we were invited to hold a workshop for the Manse Bairns Network,  to see how many young people we could attract who had been brought up in manses. 

Thanks to Suzi Farrant,  organiser of the whole event,  we were given the prime slot - 12 noon on their first day,  the first of 5 simultaneous workshops.  The young people had a total of 15 workshops to choose from,   none of them repeated,  and with competition next door from a workshop on sexual violence in the home,  Michael Grieve and I thought we did very well to attract 6 comers to our workshop.  Two of these were not even Manse Bairns,  but came along because they were interested to hear stories about life in the Manse. 

Two sisters,  Victoria and Sophie,  had started life in a home that was not a manse,  but as they blossomed into teenage years,  their Mum  became a minister,  and more recently they moved from their first manse (Polmont)  to a  very different setting in Lenzie.  Victoria  thought it a privilege to be brought up in a manse,  because you get to meet so many people - young and older, and learn to develop social skills.  Shahan,  originating from Pakistan,  had a lot of ministers in his family and had been coming to the Youth Assembly for four years,  so was in with the bricks.   Hazel from Grangemouth spoke about the problems of a large family living in a manse,  with the various demands - one learning the drums,  another arriving back from uni,  suddenly filling the manse,  and all the time the manse telephone going. 

These young people are already our friends on Facebook and we hope to fix face to face meeting with them and more of their contacts to develop the site as a true Manse Bairns Network. 

An innovation for 2016 – workshops at

The National Youth Assembly

August 2016