Welcome to Springburn Parish Church

Other Churches in Springburn


This building stands on Fountainwell Road. Originally it was at the corner of the cemetery, but because of redevelopment, it was demolished and a new building erected on the other side of the road, and designed to serve the needs of the 'new' Sighthill housing area which were built on the site of the salt and chemical works. Originally founded as a United Presbyterian congregation on Royston Road (now occupied by the Foundry Boys) they moved eventually to Springburn with a frontage facing Springburn Road. Stocks of Leeds built the present building.

(Palermo Street)
One of the original church buildings in Springburn, it fell on difficult times until a call to the Rev. Robert Telfer changed its fortunes. Towards the end of the ministry of Mr. Telfer, it again fell on evil times, due mostly to the Springburn 'redevelopment' and was bought, and offered by the District Council to the Pentecostal Church who were meeting in Townhead. They are still using the building.

A Revival, known as the '59 Revival, spread from Ireland to Scotland and Glasgow where unparalleled blessing took place. From this the 'Assembly Movement' began to show itself in the City. A number of brethren rented what was then known as the Marble Hall in Dumbarton Road (now Argyle Street), for Sunday School and Gospel Work.
Between 1860 and 1881 other assemblies of believers had been formed and because of their employment some of their members came to reside in the Springburn area where, as yet, there was no assembly. These believers came together, particularly some from Marble Hall, and decided to commence a testimony in the district In the Spring of 1881 a double windowed shop became vacant in Millarbank Street and this was rented and converted into a Gospel Hall. The effects of the Moody and Sankey campaign were still being felt and a time of reaping was enjoyed
In the summer of 1884 W. J. Meneely of Ireland arrived in Springburn with a Gospel Tent. Meetings were large and Fruitful. The corner shop with the double window now became too small, and the assembly was removed to a larger hall in 27 Cowlairs Road. That hall became too small, and it was decided to build a new hall to meet requirements.
The new hall was completed in 1902 and built by Messrs George Gibbs of Mansfield Terrace at a cost of £908. The Painters' bill was £50. On the 5th February 1970 the hall was set on fire by vandals and extensively damaged. It was estimated that in 1971 rebuilding would cost £19,500 plus fittings. By March 1973 the anticipated expenditure was £22,275. The building was refurbished, and an attractive building was opened, and is still used.

Whilst Baptist Churches are independent, and as someone has remarked, "sometimes stubbornly so" there was also seen to be the necessity of a Baptist Union to link together churches throughout Scotland. Formed in 1869, by 1890 there were 92 congregations in membership, ten of which were in Glasgow. An Evangelistic Committee was formed in November 1889, initially to promote evangelistic meetings in various churches. It then began exploring the possibility of starting evangelistic work in areas where there was no Baptist witness, with the intention of forming new churches.
At its meeting on November 10th 1890, a sub-committee was formed to make enquiries about Springburn. Events followed rapidly: by January 9th 1891 the subcommittee was able to report that Station Hall, which seated up to 200 was available at £20 per annum. It was situated in Station Road mow Atlas Road near the railway station.
On Thursday August 27th 1891 a "social conference" of the Evangelistic Committee, with 28 members of Baptist Churches who were resident in Springburn, took place, which immediately arranged for Sunday services to begin immediately at 2.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. and a weeknight meeting on Thursday at 8 p.m. The preacher on the first Sunday was the Rev. Edward Last who had moved the previous day from Dumbarton to Cambridge Street. Just over 31 years later he was to become Springburn's fifth pastor.
The Committee reported to the annual meeting of the Baptist Union in October, that Springburn was a suitable centre in which to begin aggressive work. The population was almost 40,000. It was reported that seating accommodation in all the churches was less than 5000.
Several Baptist families had already identified themselves with the movement, and several other families had declared their desire to do so as soon as a church was permanently established with a minister. If a suitable man could be placed in Springburn there would soon be a strong and vigorous church life.
The 'suitable man' was the Rev. John Horne of Ayr Baptist Church, who was born in Wick. The Evangelistic Committee invited him to take charge of the work in Springburn at a salary of £160. He agreed, and began his work on April 3rd 1892, with a congregation of 14, 3 of whom were Baptists. On May 10th it was the enthusiastic wish of the congregation that they form themselves into 'a Church with 27 founder members.
It was agreed at the beginning that the membership be 'close" (i.e. only those baptised as believers by immersion would be eligible) but that the Communion be open to all Christians).
By October 1892 the membership was 34, the attendance at the 2 p.m. service 60, and at the 6.30 p.m. service 150 and upwards, the hall being full. Because of the large attendance, the evening meeting during part of the winter had been divided into two sections. The advertisements in the local paper explained that although the service at 5 p.m. was for women, and that at 6.30 p.m. for men, any parties who may be inconvenienced by this arrangement are free to attend either service
Over the years, the Baptist witness was maintained by a succession of able ministers. Unfortunately, Springburn fell on evil times, with the railway workshops closing down and redevelopment (and demolition) taking place. What was to be the future of the various congregations? Through negotiation it was agreed the there be one Church of Scotland congregation, but what of the Baptist congregation? Various negotiations took place, commencing in September 1967 with a confused picture coming before people. In the meantime the congregation were anxious to have a settled future. One suggestion was that they move into the Wellfield Halls with a gift of £40,000 to make them right. This did not materialise, a site being offered further along Springburn Road, which was accepted. In the meantime, the Baptist congregation moved in with Wellfield Congregation, beginning a fruitful and harmonious relationship from 14th December 1975 to 1978 (April)
The present building was erected by Fleming Timber Buildings of Lenzie and cost £136,850 and was opened on Saturday 20th June 1981
The congregation was First gathered together in a rented shop in Springburn in 1875 as a mission of St. Luke's, Grafton Street at a time when Springburn was starting to grow, due to the influx of English people coming to work in the brass and steel foundries.
The original church building was built in 1881 on the site in Mollinsburn Street, which was gifted to the Church by Thomas Christie of Bedlay. Shortly after this the Church was extended. In the early 1900's the charge gained its independence and was raised to an incumbency with Canon Rollo becoming its First Rector. Shortly after the First World War the halls were extended, with the congregation playing a good and significant part in the life of the community.
The rapid decline of Springburn with the closure of the brass and steel foundries, coupled with the planning blight, devastated the community and threatened the life of every Church. The threat of closure faced the Church, but Anglicans moving into the rapidly developing Bishopbriggs brought new life into the congregation. The proposed new Expressway brought more uncertainty, with eventually the more definite move by Strathclyde Regional Council accepted that the church would have to be demolished arid rebuilt elsewhere. In May 1974 negotiations were entered for the acquisition of the present site in Hilton Road, Bishopbriggs. In the summer of 1979 work was begun on the new building, the foundation stone being laid on 15th March 1960 with the church building dedicated by Rt. Rev. Frederick Goldie, the Episcopal Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway on 20th September 1980.

A number of people disagreed with the principle of the union of the Churches in Scotland, which took place in 1929. When the union took place, a number from Wellfield, Johnston and Sighthill Congregations withdrew from their respective congregations, and formed a United Free Church (continuing) meeting first in the Oddfellow's Hall on Springburn Road, and eventually providing a wooden structure on Edgefauld Road. Because of redevelopment (eventual building of multi-storey blocks) the premises were compulsory purchased, and a new structure was erected at Balgrayhill Road. The congregation has since been dissolved.

The Mission did a very notable work in Springburn, and was well known for the evangelist Seth Sykes and his wife Bessie. We have no knowledge of its history, although there is sure to be one.
On its closure, the membership and assets were transferred to the Baptist Church.

While the first Protestant Church was built in 1843, the Roman Catholic population had to wait longer. If they wanted to attend church at that time, they had to go to St. Andrew's in Clyde Street, St. Alphonsus' in London Road, or to St. Mary's in Calton. It was not until 1850 that St. Mungo's in Townhead came into existence, which made it that bit easier for the Springburn folk.
Initially, there was difficulty for children's education for those who wanted a denominational school, and it was a long way for them even to go to Townhead. Steps were taken to provide a school for them, and a shed was rented, its whereabouts at present unknown, to provide a school for them. Property was later secured at 540 - 550 Springburn Road to be used as a school until larger and more impressive premises were built, and which had an eventual school population of 1000.
It was soon accepted that with a growing population, something more needed to be done, and in 1854, ground and premises were secured in Hill Street (later Hillkirk Street) with the object of establishing a new mission. Part of the Hill Street premises were fitted up and used as a school chapel, the Sunday services, for a time, being conducted by priests from St. Mungo's.
A new church, in the Gothic style, capable of accommodating 500 people was begun in 1855, and consecrated on 22nd June 1856. Twenty-six years later, on 7th September 1882 a new church in the early-decorated style was opened on the site of the old church, with accommodation for 1000 persons, at a cost of £3000. This building had a pinnacle fleche - a form of spire - terminated by a Cross, the whole rising to a height of 100 feet. This also served as a ventilation shaft, and intended to house a bell tower. This fleche had to be demolished in the 1940's. The hall alongside the present building was opened in 1937.

Rev. Dugald McDonald 1855
Rev Alexander Reid 1856 - 1659
Rev. Patrick Hanley 1859 - 1866
Rev. James Boyle 1866 - 1872
Rev. James Conway 1872 - 1884
Rev. John J Dyer 1884 - 1896
Rev. John L. Murphy 1896 - 1909
Rev. Patrick Ryan 1909 - 1916
Rev. Denis McBrearty 1916 - 1946
Rev. Cornelius Dennehy 1946 - 1956
Rev. Patrick Rogers 1956 - 1957
Rev. James Fitzgibbon 1957 - 1967
Rev. Thomas Meikleham 1967 - 1978
Rev. Patrick McGovern 1978 - 1981
Rev. Noel Murray 1981 - (Father Noel Murray was curate at Springburn from 1974 - 1981)
© Frank Myers 1997

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