OSCR Response to Trustees on Aged & Infirm Clergy Fund

In recent months, issues were raised with the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) regarding the Aged & Infirm Clergy Fund (AICF) of the Archdiocese.

The Trustees have repeatedly confirmed their willingness to cooperate in addressing any such concerns and have done so.

As a result, OSCR has now formally confirmed that the Trustees have acted appropriately and have commended the Trustees for their work in seeking to "dispel various misunderstandings" about the AICF.

In the course of its letter of 11 May 2023, closing the case, OSCR stated: "We recognise that the charity trustees have gone to significant effort to communicate both the need for the AICF and to dispel various misunderstandings about the fund itself and the charity’s finances in general."

They added: "It is our view that the charity trustees have acted in line with the charity trustee duties as set out in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005."

The AICF was established in 1933 to ensure adequate financial provision was made for retired and infirm clergy. Following extensive review, involving external professional advice, the Trustees concluded it was necessary to supplement those arrangements.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese said: "The Trustees are pleased to receive the assurance and endorsement of the Regulator. The Archdiocese has specific obligations to retired clergy and the Trustees recognised that, regrettably, the historical funding arrangements were insufficient to meet those obligations.

“The Trustees have exercised necessary and prudent financial management to address that deficiency. They have acted equitably, transparently and in line with Scots charity law and the Code of Canon Law.

“They have, moreover, gone to exceptional lengths to listen to concerns and to respond to questions in detail. We are pleased that these efforts have been acknowledged by OSCR."

The Archdiocese held meetings for each deanery in March 2023 to update them on the AICF fund. You can read the Q&A pack here.

Erroll Bursary gives boost to theology students in Edinburgh!

A generous donation has led to the launch of a new bursary that will support students of a Catholic theology course in Edinburgh.

The Erroll Bursary Fund will contribute £500 towards fees on the two-year Master’s Degree in Theology at St Mary's University's Gillis Centre Campus.

The University itself will match each successful bursary application with a further £500.

It comes following a donation of £8,000 from the Honourable Peregrine Moncreiffe to the university's Gillis Campus.

Investment banker Peregrine Hay (main image, inset) became chief of Clan Moncreiffe in 1998.

A practicing Catholic, he is known as Moncreiffe of that Ilk after his clan link was recognised by the Lord Lyon. He is also the feudal baron of Easter Moncreiffe, the clan seat, in Perthshire.

Angus Hay (main image, right) representing his kinsman, made the donation this week at St Bennet's, the home of Archbishop Leo Cushley.

Mr Hay said: "This theology course is a wonderful way for people to advance in their knowledge and love of the Catholic faith.

“Peregrine became aware of it and wanted to make a donation so that the Erroll Bursary could be set up to give a helping hand to prospective students.”

I am very grateful to the Honourable Peregrine Moncreiffe for this kind and timely donation.

The fund is so-called due to the Hay family’s links with the Earl of Erroll title which goes back many centuries (Peregrine’s brother is the present 24th Earl of Erroll).

Archbishop Leo Cushley (main image, left) said: "The cost of fees for the Master's course can be a challenge for some students, so the Erroll Bursary Fund will allow us to offer them a contribution to the cost.

“That means greater accessibility to a qualification that provides an invaluable way for Catholics to hone and widen their understanding of the Catholic Faith at our Gillis Campus.

"I am very grateful to the Honourable Peregrine Moncreiffe for this kind and timely donation."

A spokesperson for St Mary's University said: “We are delighted and honoured by the generosity of the Hon. Peregrine Moncreiffe.

"Enabling people to study on the MA in Applied Catholic Theology will greatly aid the shared endeavour of St Mary’s University with the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, to equip the faithful to be of service to the Church and the world – an exciting opportunity we want to be open to as many people as possible.”

The MA in Applied Catholic Theology is a partnership between St Mary's University, Twickenham, and the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.

It provides a thorough grounding in key aspects of Catholic theology, whilst developing the key skills to apply Catholic theology to the challenges and opportunities of the contemporary world. Teaching is flexible and the course is suitable for graduates of most academic disciplines.

To apply for the course and to find out more about the Errol Bursary Fund, visit stmarys.ac.uk/Edinburgh


Committed Kathleen receives Archdiocesan Medal

A parishioner in Broxburn has received a special award for her generous contribution to parish life.

Kathleen Steyn received the Archdiocesan Medal from Archbishop Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh following Mass at Ss John Cantius & Nicholas, Broxburn, on Sunday evening.

For many years Kathleen, 80, has worked to raise funds for various projects including Mary’s Meals for which she organised thousands of backpacks to support its annual appeal.

Parish priest Father Jeremy Bath said: “Kathleen has been a committed member of the parish community for many years. She attends Mass daily and has raised thousands of pounds for charity, including Mary’s Meals. She also visits the sick and housebound on a regular basis.”

Archbishop Leo Cushley added: “It is always encouraging to meet parishioners who are so committed to Christ through the work they do in the parish and wider community.

“Kathleen is a worthy recipient of this medal and I’d like to thank her on behalf of the Archdiocese for her positive contribution in helping others over so many years.”

Frank Nelson, Head of Fundraising at Mary’s Meals, said: “Warmest congratulations to Kathleen on being awarded the Archdiocesan medal. Mary’s Meals feeds more than 1.5 million hungry children in 18 countries across the world every school day.

"Thanks to dedicated supporters such as Kathleen, those children - who might otherwise be begging, working or scavenging for their next meal - are sitting in classrooms with full stomachs, learning how to read and write.”

The Archdiocesan Medal for Outstanding Service to the Church was established in 1975 by Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh.