I've been having a look at OSCR site to see if anything has been decided yet about SMC continuing to function as a charitable organisation. The review started in September last year and, it seems, is still ongiong - so it's taking quite a long time to complete but I guess they have to give SMC the benefit of the doubt and allow them time to make changes as necessary.
The entry on OSCR site merely states:Discussions continue with three charities - Fernhill School, Glasgow; Struthers Memorial Church, Greenock; and the International School of Aberdeen - as their particular characteristics require more detailed consideration.
However, on reading the published 'Activities' of SMC (as a charity) I was somewhat surprised by the following statement:It makes grants, donations, loans, gifts or pensions to individuals,It makes grants, donations or gifts to organisations,It carries out activities or services itself
My question here is: Given that the charity is consistently LOSING money how on earth can they make grants, donations, loans, gifts or pensions to anyone if they can't cover their own expenses??
Also, is there anyone out there who has actually received any of the above mentioned grants, loans, gifts or pensions? It would be enlightening to know how many people/organisations have received these and how much they have received.
According to SMC's own published accounts for 2011, Cedars school was given a subsidy of £79,602 from the collection plates of the 11 churches - this excerpt taken from the Latigo site:In our article on "the generous gift" we have indicated that in 2009 there was, in addition to the other school income sources, a subsidy taken from the 11 churches collection plates and given to the school amounting in 2009 to £158,142. This seemed to be a surprise to a number of people who have contacted us who believed the claim had been made that the school fees fully covered all the school expenses.
The equivalent figure reported in the 2010 accounts was £83,949 transferred from church collection plate income to subsidise the school.
In 2011 this figure was £79,602.
As you can see, the school has received such subsidies in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It doesn't take an Einstein to realise that this just doesn't equate with the statement of SMC 'Activites' as published on OSCR site. How can they possibly be giving gifts, grants etc. if they can't even cover the expenses of their own school without taking money from the collections given by existing members?
In addition, it is still unclear where the £234,000 in restricted funds has been spent and whether or not this was spent on the intended activities.
So my main question is: Are the activities published on OSCR a lie, concocted to please the Charities Commission, or have the activities of the organisation changed since they acquired charitable status?
I haven't seen the complete breakdown of the expenses for 2011 but perhaps someone who has could enlighten us as to how much is reported, in the accounts, as having been given as grants, donations, pensions etc. during that year?
I had hoped that Happy Survivor might be able to shed some light on the activities of school at least, since she seems to have better knowledge of this than any of the rest of us - I still hold out some hope that we may hear more about this from you, Happy Survivor, but like I said before if you don't want to share this with us we understand but please DO share it with OSCR and help them in their investigations.
It was clear, some time ago, that the members of the church were in blissful ignorance of the fact that their contributions were being used to subsidise the school - in other words, the members were paying their hard-earned cash to a couple of the main leaders families who work in the school. Let's not beat about the bush here - the teachers (who are also leaders and family members of leaders in the church) could say that they used those subsidies to buy I-pads or any other equipment but what it really boils down to is: If the school has been consistently LOSING money then surely they should be cutting back on expenses and SALARIES but it appears that, even although they can't afford it, the SALARIES are still being paid in full - at the expense of the congregation who believe their money is being used to help people and maintain church buildings.
OH YES, they are definitely helping people and those people are the leaders and their families
and NOT those who really need help from an organisation which claims to have charitable purposes.
I think I can say, with a large degree of certainty, that Miss T herself would be absolutely raging at the thought of leaders benefiting financially from the donations of the members. As far as I can remember, Miss T was dead against commercialism in the church and probably would have a hairy fit about the coffee shops never mind giving salaries to the leaders of the church and their families.
In my day ALL the time given by ALL the leaders of each branch was done freely and without complaint. This was expected and was REQUIRED of them by God, according to the main leaders of the day (Miss T and Mr. B). So has God changed his mind about this in the intervening years? I don't think so!
In fact, casting my mind back, I do remember the subject of an elite school being brought up on more than one occasion, when I was in attendance, and the idea being met by stern disapproval from Miss T every time. I also have the feeling that the subject was brought up, back then, by some of the same people who are now working in the school (if my memory serves me correctly).
So I conclude that, while the current leaders go on and on about having Miss T's 'mantle' they certainly don't hold to her very strict remonstrations regarding such ventures as elite schools and coffee shops.
Another thing that really 'gets my goat' is the false modesty spewing from the mouths of these leaders about how they never asked for, or wanted to have, the responsibilities of being leaders but that God has chosen
them for the position. Not only is that insulting to God, it's also completely untrue because at least TWO of the current leaders engineered their rise to the platform through lies and manipulation. If they didn't want the position, why did they lie and manipulate others to get themselves on the platform??
Anyway, I've ranted enough for now so I'm off for a puff on the old electronic cig. to calm me down :-)
As always, biiiiiiiig love and huge hugggggggs to all
God Bless xxxx