Elders of the West
Names on the back of the
James Hannah, James
Nisbet, Moses Toner,
Roderick Lawson, Stewart Laurie, William Dunlop, John
McMurtrie, Alexander McCreadie, John Pirry.
More about this card.
Church Building History:
extract from the book - Maybole,
Carrick's Capital by James T. Gray
Chapter 12, page 122.
In 1842 the West Church (locally known as the Glen Kirk) was
built in Coral Glen, the cost being mainly met by Sir Charles Fergusson of
Kilkerran. Once again it was built in what could be described as "The
Maybole Kirk" style and there is little to commend it from an architectural
point of view. It is a pleasant enough building, however, with an ornamental
open bellcote on the gabe facing Coral Glen and its gables and walls are
relieved with finely proportioned long arched windows. It was of better
workmanship than the two earlier churches and, being sited on top of a hill,
rather than on the side of one, there has been little trouble in keeping
dampness from damaging it. It serves the west part of the town admirably and has
the most attractive surroundings of all the churches in the burgh. It was the
church where the Rev. Roderick Lawson preached for so many years and his
successor, Rev. Alexander Williamson, was also minister for a long period and
both these men were keenly interested in their adopted town and wrote many
articles about it."
Short history of Maybole West Parish Church. By William Fielding
The history of a church, like the history of a
nation, is the history of its people.
From the records of the church and also from other
sources, the following facts have been compiled.
The church was built in 1842 by Sir Charles Fergusson
of Kilkerran, who owned the ground, just as the clouds of the Disruption
were gathering over the Church in Scotland.
Sir Charles decided to erect the church to supply
accommodation for a large number of people who could not find room to
worship in the Parish Church.
In 1842 there were only two churches in the whole
parish, the Parish Church and the Burgher Kirk at the foot of John Knox
Street dating from 1797.
The people of that time were so eager to attend
worship that the one building could not hold them all. So Sir Charles
took it upon himself to build another church down the Glen.
Unfortunately, or otherwise, about two years later
the Disruption took place and in 1844 the Free Church people decided to
build a church of their own to worship in.
In this way the Glen Kirk, as it was known, became
surplus to requirements and for many years it was a Chapel of Ease,
being served by a succession of ministers. One of them was Rev John
Rankine, a native of Maybole who became Moderator of the Church of
Scotland in 1883.
The church grounds were granted to the General
Trustees of the Church of Scotland for a nominal annual charge in 1857
and the Rev John Thomson was called to be minister of the Glen Kirk.
Lady Fergusson of Kilkerran, the mother of Sir James
presented the minister and congregation with a handsome Communion
Service of silver cups and flagons which are still used by the minister
and elders when taking communion.
The appointment of Rev Thomson as minister marked a
forward step and the church prospered and grew so much that about 1860
it erected into a parish quod sacra. This was mainly through the efforts
of Sir James who succeeded his late father.
The year 1862 marked an important development when
Sir James, who was ever generous, granted more ground and built a manse
on the rising ground to the south of the church and also portioned off
two acres and eleven poles as a glebe. The small hall was built a year
later at a cost of £200.
The church has been served by a succession of
hardworking ministers, perhaps one of the most ardent being the late Rev
Roderick Lawson who was inducted in 1863 and served for about 35 years.
The Glen was the first church to introduce
instrumental music as an aid to praise. During that time it was the only
church to produce a student or two for the ministry.
Around 1900 the church started thinking about the
layout of the interior and reseating and this was completed in 1902 at a
cost of £579 17 2 ½.
During the alterations the Town Hall was used for
worship for 36 Sundays at a cost of £15 3 2. The most striking of the
new furnishings and fittings was the stained glass windows behind the
The central one was erected by A & F Dunlop of the
USA in memory of their sister Margaret. The smaller two were erected in
memory of James Nisbet, an elder at the Glen Kirk for over thirty years.
The year 1920 saw a new pipe organ installed and it
was built by H Hilsdon at a cost of £307 10/-. Master Robert Tait was
appointed organ blower at an annual salary of £1 10/- and an electric
motor blower was installed in 1949 at a cost of £62 10/-.
The minutes from 1859 about the erection of the
belfry is worth quoting as a sterling example of self help and
enthusiasm. An extract reads “It was reported the handsome sum of £21
stg. had been cheerfully subscribed by the congregation as agreed upon
with Sir James Fergusson Bart. for the purpose of procuring a bell for
the church, that the bell had been selected, got home, and the price of
£6 paid. The meeting, with grateful thanks to Sir James for agreeing to
erect a handsome belfry in stone to place the bell in, agrees to hand
over the balance to him in aid of the expense of erecting said belfry.
The said balance being £5 0 6. The meeting expressed the hope that no
further delay will take place in having the belfry erected.”
That bell still calls the people to worship today.
There are two plaques inside the church to the memory
of Rev Roderick Lawson and Sir Charles Fergusson.
The baptismal font was donated in 1950 by the Women’s
Guild. The flags were gifted to the Boys Brigade by the Guild of the
West Parish and Maybole Old.
In 1961 a new hall was built by voluntary labour and
when it was completed in 1962 it was dedicated by the Moderator of Ayr
The year 1985 saw the induction of the first lady
elders to the Kirk Session.
It was agreed in 2003 to unite the two congregations
of Maybole Old and Maybole West and to build a new community church for
the town. So on 7th August 2005 the final Service of Closure was held
for Maybole Old and on 14th August 2005 a final Service of Closure was
held in Maybole West.
List of ministers
Rev John Rankine (later to become Moderator of the
Rev James Gemmell
Rev R Henderson
Rev John White
Rev Alex Inglis
Rev John Crig
Rev John Thomson 1857-1863
Rev Roderick Lawson 1863-1898
Rev George Thomson 1898-1863
Rev W A Reid 1905-1911
Rev W M Lean 1911-1915
Rev A Williamson 1916-1957
Rev S Goudie 1958-1963
Rev G Fisher 1963-1972
Rev J Brown 1973-1979
Rev D Purvis 1980-1985
Rev J Stuart 1986-1995
Rev T Bogle 1996-2003
TOKEN MAYBOLE SCOTLAND 1857 An oval white metal communion token of
MAYBOLE Church, AYRSHIRE, SCOTLAND, issued by the minister JOHN THOMSON
in 1857. Burzinski 4669, Cresswell 4120, Kerr Lockie 1942-962, Table 3,
Fine. Click on the image to view full size.