Duties of the Church Officer in Edwardian Times

 George Johnstone was Church Officer in Kirkpatrick-Durham for 18 years from about 1900 to the end of the First World War. The Rev.W.A.Stark appointed Mr Johnstone as Church Officer and the document in Starks’s writing, setting out his duties and pay and with Mr Johnstone’s signature of acceptance is reproduced below.

 His duties were

He was paid £6 per year for his duties with the addition of 2 shillings for each time the fire was lighted for heating

6 shillings ad 6 pence for each grave dug ( 4shillings and 6 pence for a child's grave) 


He was born in 1860 and lived at “Coldstream” a humble Cottage dwelling opposite the gates of Walton Park house. now in Walton Park farmland.

“Coldstream” is mentioned in a local poem and referred to as the “Birthplace of many a dream” *

His obituary in the Parish news following his death on 13th February 1927 read as follows

“We regret to have to announce the death of Mr George Johnstone, who for eighteen years faithfully served the Church as Church Officer.

A man of kindly sympathies and of unassuming habits, he gained and held the respect of all, and his loss will be keenly felt throughout the whole district.

Our sympathies go out to Mrs Johnstone and her daughter, and we pray God He will soften for them the blow and sustain them with His own divine comfort.

It is passing strange that .well within the fortnight the minister Rev.W.A. Stark should 'have followed his faithful servant to the grave.” 

Willie's Dilemma. J.M.Burgess 1897 

He sune was thro' the "Hollow"

Birthplace o' many a dream

And at the loanin' en' that gans

Tae eerie, famed Caldstream


                    Copy of the Document in Rev.W.A.Stark's hand writing

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