Camelon Parish Church

Camelon St. John's Church(SMR 955)

 NS 8676 8050

1929    St. John’s Church

TIMELINE

1838: A church building erected using money raised by Dr Chalmers, convenor of the Church Extension Committee.  William Forbes gave the site free and £300 towards the building, the total cost being £1100.  The plan was provided by David Rhind, architect, Edinburgh.  It was rectangular in form with an elegant porch, in the Romanesque style.  A bellcote surmounted the north gable that faced onto Glasgow Road.  There were three arched windows above the porch and a parapet above these to conceal the roof.  The flanks contained three two-light windows.  The builder was Galbraith, Bonnybridge.

1840: Building completed in March and opened for public worship as a Chapel of Ease in August.

1843: Disruption caused much confusion in Camelon and the church lay partly disused for five years.

1853: March, Camelon erected into a “quad sacra” parish by decree of the Court of Teinds.

1913: A new extension planned by P.  MacGregor Chalmers.   However, the work was only carried out after the Great War by his successors Messrs Jeffrey Waddell and Young who had to modify the designs.   The south gable was moved 18 inches and an aisle with a new gallery was added on the east side.   The main gallery was replaced by a larger one.

1924:  Re-opened on 23rd March.   A new bay had been added to the length of the nave making a side transept with a gallery.  A new back gallery was also added.  The whole of the interior re-floored, re-seated and re-plastered.  The existing plaster ceiling was opened up to the ridge and electric lighting installed.  Chancel added with an organ chamber in which was a pipe organ; a vestry, session house and retiring rooms were provided opposite.  A new choir and elder stalls were thus necessitated.  The exterior was cleaned and the main porch altered.  Ramsay Bros, Laurieston, builders.  Cost £5575 with the organ.

1928:  Two  linked halls accommodating 400 and 100 respectively,  along with  a kitchen  and several other small rooms designed by Jeffrey Waddell,  opened  in April on the corner of Brown Street and Mansionhouse Road.  Cost £3300.

1939: Halls commandeered by the army.

1960s: Early pews stripped and re-varnished.

1969-72: Trial union with the Irving Church and Camelon Trinity after which the individual churches agreed to go their own ways.

MANSE

1873: Manse built in Stirling Road.

1959:  New manse bought in Rennie Street, Falkirk, and the old one sold the following year.

FITTINGS

1919: Pulpit  of fumed oak designed and gifted by Miss Helen Wilson  of  South Bantaskine  “in memory of George Cadenhead,  May, 1915;  Douglas  Reid,  October, 1917;  and Bernard Tennent,  August,  1918, who gave their lives for God, King, and Country”.

1924: Baptismal font of fumed oak gifted “In memory of Agnes Gillespie Allan” of Lime Road by her family.

1924: Communion table dedicated 13th April and gifted by Rev. Scott’s family.

1929: Communion glasses purchased to replace cups.

1942: Two solid silver communion cups presented by Erskine family; one of the old cups sent to Chogoria in Kenya.

1950: New communion cups.

1959: Lamp above door.  War memorial.

2005:  Church united with the Irving Church and the building left vacant.

ORGAN

Built by H Hilsdon, Glasgow.

BELL

1839: The bell is said to have been used in this year to call workmen to the Union Canal who were building the railway viaduct there, and that it was after given to the church by the contractors.  No inscription.

1959: New bell.

WINDOW

See separate entry for stained glass.

WAR MEMORIAL

See separate entry for war memorial.

SEATING

1838: Build for 600 sitters, including a gallery that ran across the church covering just less than half the area beneath.

1924: Seats increased to just over 800.

CHURCHYARD

1960s: Cleared by Falkirk District Council

MINISTERS OF ST. JOHN’S CHURCH

Oct 1841

Branks, William Sep 1843

May 1849

Oswald, John Feb 1867

Sep 1867

Scott, John Nov 1912

Apr 1913

Agnew, Robert Jan 1921

Jun 1921

Headrick, Robert Jun 1951

Jan 1952

Grey, Robert Mar 1957

Aug 1957

Robson, James 1986

1988

Wallace, James K.

Geoff  B. Bailey (2019)