History

History

Introduction

This is a brief history of the building, formation and notable contents which now form Crosshill Parish Church of Scotland. I have acquired the information from past histories of the two former churches, church records and speaking with other office-bearers.

 

 

THE CHURCH

 

There has been a place of worship on this site since 1881…

On 2nd June 1881 a new congregation was formed and became known as “The Second United Presbyterian Church in Motherwell” until it was changed to “Dalziel United Presbyterian Church” a few years later.  The name remained until the Union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterian Church in 1900 when it became known as “Cairns United Free Church”.  The letters “DUPC” are still visible above the front door of the sanctuary.

In 1929, at the Union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, the name changed to “Cairns Church of Scotland”.

This name remained in place until 1971 when the union of “Brandon Church” and “Cairns Church” took place and the new congregation was to be known in the interim as “Brandon/ Cairns Church of Scotland”.  On 7th March, 1972 the congregation voted to change the name to “Crosshill Parish Church of Scotland.”

 

Outwardly the church building remains the same as when it was opened with the exception of the front steps. These were altered in 2004 to comply with the Disability Act to incorporate a ramp.

The stone in the grounds is reputed to be the Crosshill Stone which marked the place where people were punished many years ago and was placed here by the local council in 1990.

 

The Sanctuary

 

On entering the vestibule of the sanctuary there are two sets of memorials on the facing wall.

One is the stained glass windows which were installed in 1952 and is a memorial to members of the Cairns congregation who gave their lives during the Second World War. The names of the members are engraved on the windows.

The second memorial is the brass plaques which were installed in 1971 and list the names of members of the Brandon congregation who gave their lives in both World Wars – the ones on the left are for the 1914-18 war and the ones on the right are for the 1939-45 war.  These memorials were originally on a marble plaque on the outside wall of the Brandon church.

The key which hangs beside the left hand door of the sanctuary is the original gold key which was presented to Mrs Wishart and family on the opening of the new halls in 1909 and was presented to the congregation by the Wishart family in 1996.

 

On the stairs on the right hand side there are two memorials.

One is in memory of the Rev James Dunlop who was the first minister in Brandon Church and the other is of John Colville MP who was one of the founder members of the Dalziel United Presbyterian Church.

On the stairs on the left hand side are a two further memorials.

One is to the Rev Thomas Foggo Whillas the first minister of Dalziel United Presbyterian Church and the other is to the Rev Andrew Carmichael the second minister of the Brandon Church.

These memorials were originally situated within the sanctuaries of Brandon and Cairns Churches.

 

When you enter the sanctuary there are rear and side galleries. The rear gallery was in place when the building was opened and the side galleries were added in 1893.

 

The three stained glass windows were installed in 1921 along with the memorial organ. The windows were a gift from the Colville family in memory of the family.

The window on the left depicts Moses reading from the table of law.

The central window is of the Good Shepherd bearing the lamb and shepherds staff.

The window on the right depicts the figure of Dorcas with a garment in her hands.

 

The memorial organ was installed by Henry Willis and has the names of members of the Cairns congregation who gave their lives in the 1914-18 war. The original organ keyboard was situated behind where the pulpit is at present. The pulpit at one time was on the right hand side.  With the union of the two churches in 1971, Henry Willis and Sons carried out a major refurbishment and combined the workings of both organs and moved the keyboard to the present situation in front of the chancel area.

 

The pulpit and the Cairns communion table, chairs and baptismal font were dedicated in 1921. These were made from Austrian oak. The communion table, chairs and font were gifted to Condorrat Church of Scotland, Cumbernauld  in 1971 at the union of Brandon and Cairns Churches.  The present communion table, chairs and font are the original Brandon furniture. The communion table and chairs were gifted in 1936 by Mary Robertson in memory of her mother. The baptismal font was gifted by the Rev and Mrs Ritchie also in 1936.

The pew cushions were fitted in 1992.

There are two further memorials in the sanctuary, both located downstairs to the rear of the building.

One is to Margaret Reid who was a missionary and was lost at sea due to enemy action in 1941.

The other memorial was erected in memory of Mr David Ritchie Howat a former session clerk and his wife Jessie Howat who donated the first sound system in the church in the mid 1960’s.

Over the past years various sound systems have been fitted with the recent systems incorporating a loop system.

The most recent addition to the building was the audio visual system which was installed in 2007.

 

 

The Halls

 

The church halls were opened in 1909 and consisted of a large hall, a small hall and the upstairs rooms.

The small hall has remained unaltered with the exception of a very small platform which was removed in the 1960’s. The large hall again has remained the same with the addition of toilets built as an extension in the 1950’s.

The present kitchen was redesigned in the 1970’s and has since been upgraded with new units and cookers.

There was a new passageway from the sanctuary to the large hall created in the 1980’s.

The upstairs accommodation existed of seven meeting rooms and one toilet facility.

These have been altered to five meeting rooms and a small kitchen by the removal of two walls. The new session room was refurbished in 1992.

 

 

 

Craig Sheridan

September 2016