Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: CovLass ()
Date: October 02, 2014 09:46AM

Hi Happy

I think your analysis is correct and I personally doubt that you you would have received a response had you not mentioned on this forum that you had contacted them. My reasoning behind this assumption is the past eperiences of others, when they have written to Struthers leaders and asked for a meeting or hoped or some kind of acknowledgement. I suspect the fact that you apologised will have been taken as a sign of victory and not as the heart felt gesture that it was. Again, I base this suspicion on past experiences.

I now compare this to an experience I had with minister of another church. To cut a long story short, his actions had hurt me deeply and I left that church. I admit I was bitter and had said things about him behind his back. I then got to the point where I felt I needed to meet with him in order to talk, pray and move forward with God, so I asked if I could meet with him and his wife.

I began by apologising for some of the things I had said and we discussed the
issue that had caused the problem. This man of God cried when I told him how hurt I had been. He wanted to learn how to avoid this kind of thing happeneing in the future. We spoke for some time and we both took responsibility for the wrongs each of us had done. He wasn't just interested in my apology. He sought reconciliation, as did I. My humility sparked his humility, the meeting ended with us all praying for one another and we all walked away restored.

I love that man of God. Yeah there have been times since then when we have
diagreed but he has a heart after God and walks in love. It would have been nice if Struthers leders could have responded to your open heart in the same way.

You are correct in saying they have a choice whether they wish to meet with you or not. They could have chosen not to reply to you at all but I personally think it is a bit of a poor show when someone opens their heart to get a respone that basically says "I accept your apology."

Anyway that's my two pence worth on that situation. I do believe that there is a big difference between being critical and insulting and that there is no problem being critical of someone where there is just cause. To insult someone is completely different and yes, it is unnecessary. I could for example, criticise David Cameron and the way he runs this country. Some may argue that such criticism is totally justified. What would be unacceptable would be for me to refer to David Cameron as a "stuck up, toffee nosed fool with questionable parentage."

The same is true in regard to Struthers leaders. Speaking the truth is fine and doing so on this forum has been the last resort, as I understand it, for many who have posted on here.

The vast majority of what I have said has been critical of Struthers leaders. The times that I have shared personal experienes have all been truthful and when I have shared opinions, these have been based on my experiences.

You do raise a very valid point. We should not make unjustified personal insults to people, although if my memory serves me well, I don't recall seeing much of that on this forum. If I have made unjustified insulting comments about anyone, then I apologise. For all I have said that is true and warranted, I make no apology.

Of course, Struthers leaders have said that criticising them is akin to
criticising God and I have heard the "touch not mine anointed" scripture quoted out of context, more times than I care to remember. Thankfully I have had the blessing of meeting a number of genuinely anointed men and women of God and I see a huge difference between these people and Struthers leaders.

Happy, if I was wearing a hat I would take it off to you for writing to the leaders. You know what was on your heart and you responded to God and out of love. I would also agree with others when they say be careful not to fall into the Struthers guilt trip cycle. God loves you and the moment you repent and confess your sins to him, he forgives and cleanses you. There is no need for purgatory in Christ.

I sincerely hope that my writing has not caused you further distress. That was not my intention. I pray for a true change of heart from Struthers leaders, one that seeks to address hurts and bring reconciliation. However, I don't think we are there.

You have my sympathy and understanding at the hurt of losing good friends. For me, that was the hardest part. I just thank God that I now have some wonderful friends and I attend a church where I don't have to live in fear of the leaders suddenly declaring me an outcast and banning peopke from talking to me.

I pray that you continue to grow in God.

God bless you


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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: October 03, 2014 05:39PM

Hi CovLass, good to see you actively contributing again! I love your story of Christian reconciliation – I have seen very similar things and it is indeed both effective and inspiring.

The forum has indeed been a bit quiet recently, but I think that is because we are all waiting to see what the OSCR report will say. I suspect there will be a flurry of activity when it eventually gets published. I guess it will depend a lot on what is said and what action is taken by the leadership however. If they take the Brethern line that they are willing to make amends, then I suspect this forum will remain quite quiet while there are attempts to make some restitution in more private discussions.

If that is not part of the outcome, I suspect the forum activity in the past will pale into insignificance!

From what has been evident so far, including the very informative post by Happy Survivor, it looks like they are planning on the confrontational approach, or perhaps just have no idea how to do anything except a confrontational approach. A bit sad, but I guess it is hardly surprising – they have spent their whole lives believing they are better than everyone else, so actually listening to others, not to discover the speaker’s faults but to examine their own behaviour, is totally alien to them.

Happy Survivor, like you, I still hold out some hope that they will open themselves to a bit more of a compassionate approach, but the evidence from past behaviour seems to make this unlikely. One member of the Falkirk branch has continued to write to Jennifer Jack approximately every 5 years asking for a meeting but has never received a reply. He also wrote to Chris Jewell (who attended his wedding a few years after he had left SMC) but again, no response to the request for a meeting, even when it was accompanied by a statement that, “I am very happy to approach this with no agenda and no expectations, and also very happy for it to be off the record if that is your preference.”

I don’t know about others who are reading this forum, but I cannot understand how someone can stand up to lead a meeting or be part of any sort of Christian work and know that they are acting with such disdain. I have no idea how they justify this in the light of Jesus’ example of talking to the woman at the well and other incidents. His example was to talk to people that no-one else would talk to, the SMC leaders’ example is to refuse to talk to people that everyone else does talk to!

It is the hypocrisy that gets to me – the leaders will no doubt be busy telling OSCR how compassionate they are, yet at the same time are acting like this. They do not seem to be taking the “touch not the Lord’s anointed” line with OSCR for example. Now, I wonder why that is?

Of course, there might be some reason not to speak to this person form Falkirk – who knows? The person themselves certainly doesn’t however, and that seems pretty important to me. If there is for example some ‘reason’ behind Chris’ decision, should he not let the person know? What has changed between attending the wedding and the decision not to reply? People can shout what they want form the pulpit, but the evidence is there in black and white, so there is no escaping these things. Oh, I know, like Happy Survivor says, these things cannot be forced. I understand that, but people should know that is the kind of behaviour demonstrated by the leadership, and OSCR should also take it into account when deciding whether the organisation displays any of the characteristics of a charity.

Until now, the problem has however been that there has been no accountability to anything or anyone, so there was no need for the leaders to justify anything. I think that has now changed however, and they have to “put up or shut up”. Whether it is those who have not got replies to letters or whether it is the accusations Diana made to CovLass, they have to take steps to resolve these matters - either that or stand by their behaviour by making a statement that says, “We are not talking to this person because he is evil and would corrupt us/ God told us not to/ we are too busy baking cakes (delete as appropriate). “ or “In spite of all the evidence and everything this person says, God has told us she is a lesbian/ backslider/ eater of black pudding (delete as appropriate)”. It would be interesting to see how OSCR and parents of young children responded if they chose the latter course!

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: October 13, 2014 09:31PM

Hi folks

Great to see you again, CovLass, as always you make some very astute and insightful comments and I couldn't agree more with you.

Petitor, on the matter of Miss Jennings, I wasn't aware that she was receiving any payments from SMC but surely she must have been the only one? Apart from donations to missionaries and Tear Fund I had believed that no one was receiving any payments. I wonder if Miss Jennings was being paid for her work in the church? I think she did the cleaning and other bits and pieces, in the Greenock builiding, and was active in the cookhouse at camps. However, both Ma Jewell and Fiona McConnachie were also very active in the cookhouse (probably more so than Miss Jennings) and, as far as I know, were not paid for this service to the church even although it took up most of their free time at the camps.

I do know that none of the church leaders in any of the branches received remunneration for their work for SMC and all had 'day jobs' outwith the church. Many of these guys also gave up their Saturdays to organise and run various activities for the kids in their areas (swimming at old Victoria Baths in Paisley, canoeing at Castle Semple Loch etc.) and these were usually paid for through the church collections and donations from various members, including the leaders themselves.

Happy Survivor, I applaud your humility and I do hope that the leaders of SMC will reciprocate in like fashion, such as CovLass found with the pastor she talks about. That is what the Bible teaches - that the leaders are very much accountable to the people they teach and should seek forgiveness and restitution when they have mistreated or maligned one of their 'flock'. It is a real shame that SMC leaders believe themselves to be completely exonnerated because they hide behind the 'touch not the Lord's annointed' passage.

The real truth is that 'the Lord's annointed' were performing miracles daily in the name of Jesus. Where is the evidence that the leaders of SMC are truly annointed? Can anyone provide solid evidence of all the miracles these people are performing in Jesus name? Are they commanding the blind to see, the lame to walk, the afflicted to be whole? I haven't seen any of that myself - has anyone else?

As always,
Biiiiiig love and huge huggggggs to all.
God Bless xxxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Cornelius Dredd ()
Date: December 15, 2014 07:54PM

Hi All, hoping everyone is in fine health.
Just noticed that OSCR have their list of schools that have to change. Mostly, elitist "top" private schools that shouldn't have charity status anyway.
Interestingly, I noted OSCR quote that they have issued directives to all and "they will be watching for backsliders."
Coincidence that? Hmmm.... Not really a word I'd apply to somewhere like Merchiston, but if I'd read even a portion of this forum or the Latigo site, I'd use it as a clear message to the school most likely to backslide.

I wonder anyway, with changing political winds and "cutbacks", are private schools at all entitled to charity status. They are, by design, intended to create class division and elitism. With faith schools like Cedars also.
This is what we are running out of patience with in society.
Sure, if you want to send your kids to the "best" schools, then pay for it. To offer charitable assistance to someone from a poorer background benefits no one. The rich/poor divide is not alleviated.
All I can really surmise is that some people think supporting private education (not available to everyone who wants it...) is justification for charitable status. Is it??
I disagree. Any spare funds should be getting thrown at more immediate problems.
Either way, the money dwindles and some serious innovation is needed to avoid closure. Anyhow. Continuing...
Best regards and happy days, Cornelius (Once Ifellaway)

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: December 18, 2014 05:05PM

Hi Cornelius D,

Yes, I noticed that too. A quick browse of the web revealed another side to it as well, which is that,


The two reviews which have been suspended are because the schools involved are facing other problems. Fernhill School encountered financial difficulties so OSCR suspended its review while the school restructures its governance and finance. Struthers Memorial Church, which Cedars School of Excellence is part of, is the subject of a separate OSCR inquiry.

(see for example [])

So it seems SMC is now subject to some other sort of enquiry, whatever that means. The slightly strange part of it is that the current review has been suspended. As there is now this 'other enquiry' that is probably just a process thing - "we cannot complete process A until process B is completed" but it is still quite concerning from the point of view of 'users' - those in the congregation and parents of the children in the school, who continue to give money and be subject to this "Charitable" organisation while OSCR mucks about with process. "Fiddling while Rome burns?"

Aside from all that, the main reason I logged in just now was just to say Merry Christmas to all readers of the Forum. Kind of hard to send cards when I don't have names and addresses, but I would like to send you this virtual card and wish you all the blessings of the season.

I hope you all have a peaceful and meaningful Christmas and can look forward to healthy and happy 2015.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Cornelius Dredd ()
Date: December 19, 2014 09:43AM

focus its activities better on critical issues that may adversely affect public trust and confidence”.
In black and white and in plain English.
So as you are fond of quoting HB, perhaps you should be the one saying wheels grinding slowly but grinding exceedingly small etc.
Anyway, more than encouraging.

Merry Christmas all..

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: cbarb-again ()
Date: December 22, 2014 06:47AM

Hi folks

I'd like to add my best wishes to everyone for Christmas and the New Year too.

OSCR are taking an inordinate length of time to complete their investigations but I hope that means they are taking SMC strongly to task. The site is rather vague about the ongoing process so it's not easy to say whether the delay should be viewed optimistically from our point, or not. I hope so.

Let's see what happens in the New Year.

Have a fabulous time over the holidays and don't eat too many mince pies!

Take care for now all.

Biiiiig love and huge hugggggggs
God Bless xxx

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: ThePetitor ()
Date: February 06, 2015 02:25AM

Cbarb - too late. I think I was the one that caused the world shortage of mince pies.

Anyway, being the sort of boring person that doesn’t have a life, (and trying not to eat too much until the effect of the mince pies wears off) I thought I would have a look at the Charities act. (Interesting stuff if you like that sort of thing).

The first thing I noticed was that the key test of a Charity is about the benefit it provides (and any disbenefit). Well, that should be a quick decision then – OSCR only has to look at quotes like that of Golden Girl back in August 2011:


First of all, as a teenager I started to go along to meetings with a few of my friends and very quickly changed from a happy outgoing child who belonged to various groups and organisations, to a teenager who felt worthless and inadequate and never quite good enough.

Not sure I would take too long to decide whether that was a benefit or a disbenefit! As I said at the time:


Finally, Goldengirl, welcome to the forum…

I think the issue about personality changes is very relevant. As I look back, I can think of a number of people who went through a change, always in the same direction - from the energetic to the passive and from the enthusiastic to the depressed.

There are of course many other forum contributions I could quote but almost all say the same thing – Struthers causes pain and hurt and the leadership simply do not care.

The reason I chose the comment above was because it was not just about the trauma caused by being treated badly when leaving however, it also highlights the harm caused just by joining. I wonder if OSCR actually have the power to look into things like this at a suitably detailed level. Could they for example ask members of the congregation whether they have ever been depressed? It would be no good asking members how they felt now, as they would inevitably say they were wonderfully blessed and all was good in this best possible of all worlds, but I suspect that evidence-based questions such as “have you ever been absent form work or on medication for stress or depression” would get a different response.

Not that I am saying there is anything wrong with getting support to deal with stress by the way – I would absolutely support people seeking help and support for anything like that, and would defend their personal validity as individuals and employees. My point is emphatically not that there is anything wrong with any of that, it is simply the question of whether SMC is a cause of stress or depression, which I suspect it is.

It also seems to me that more recent comments confirm there is no real change to the negative impact those in Struthers have members of their congregations, so I reckon the judgment about benefit and disbenefit is very clear.

My main concern now is how long OSCR is taking. I would have thought that this was a 5-minute decision, not a 3-year one, and I really worry about those who remain in the organisation while OSCR is fiddling (or whatever they are doing).

On another matter entirely, I was also interested to read the outcome of the recent report on the Rotherham scandal. Yes, I know the circumstances are different, but I think there are a number of parallels around whole idea of a “culture of denial”.

For example, the report indicates that Rotherham Council, “had a deep-rooted culture of cover-ups and silencing whistleblowers, “was in complete denial" and that the inspection “revealed past and present failures to accept, understand and combat the issue”.

Well, even speaking for myself alone, I think the SMC leadership is in complete denial about their responsibility. As I read other comments on this forum, I have no doubt that they have also been in complete denial with regard to others.

The current lack of any attempt to right the wrongs would suggest they are still in denial at this present time but, like Rotherham, truth will out eventually. Whether it takes one report, two reports or three reports, they cannot get away with it forever.

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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: Clive ()
Date: June 24, 2015 09:30PM

Heres a little compare-and-contrast exercise some ex SMC members might like to try: List out which of the things in this article - written by an ex-member of the Church Of Scientology - also applied to your experience of life inside SMC and on how you were treated when you left.

Clearly it will be nothing like as sinister as the Scientologists, but it would be interesting - and telling - to see where the similarities lie.

The article is written by Actress Carmen Llywelyn - ex wife of Jason Lee, the actor best known for My Name is Earl.

She tells her story of life inside the Scientology cult and what happened when she finally left.


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Re: Struthers Memorial Independent Pentecostal Church
Posted by: TRUTHSEEKER9001 ()
Date: July 01, 2015 05:32PM

Below is a copy of my post in March 2014.....I don't like to say I told you so but.......

Just how long does the Regulator need and what is the reason for delay?

"I had not intended to post again but I thought I should share this.

I understand some of the leadership are celebrating that the Charity Regulator's investigation has taken over 18 months and is still going.
My understanding is that they will continue to argue and delay any responses as long as possible and if there are adverse findings they will say they are out of date.They believe that afterwards they can return to normal.

There is also a belief that the Regulator does not know the details of all the relationships of the families involved in running SMC and the school.

The leadership have also used Charb's 21 December post to discredit this forum. Charb has previously made an immense contribution to this forum. Although I do not agree with Charb's views in 21 Dec post, I accept they are genuinely held, but right or wrong I believe they are best outside the SMC forum.

Let us hope the Regulator's report is taking so long because they are doing a good job rather than being taken in by the SMC leadership".

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