The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
Churches THE   PARISH   CHURCH.    Prior   to   1779   there   was   no   place   of   worship   in   Chryston. The   villagers   and   those   from   the   surrounding   area   walked the   five   miles   or   more   to   Cadder   Parish   Church,   which   was   at   that   time   responsible   for   their   spiritual   welfare.   Later   a   small   chapel   was erected   at   Drumsack   near   Auchinloch,   where   a   service   was   conducted   every   third   Sunday.   The   bell   of   !his   chapel,   after   its   demolition,   was given into the care of Mr Mark Sprot of Garnkirk House. On   21st   May   1779,   at   Auchinloch,   a   committee   was   formed   and   the   decision   taken   to   erect   a   "Chapel   of   Ease"   at   Chryston.   As   the   name suggests   it   was   to   "ease"   the   situation   of   parishioners   for   worship.   This   committee   was   made   up   of   the   following:   Alex.   Dun,   Minister   of Cadder;   James   Gray,   Chryston;   James   Gray,   Wamflet;   John   Calder,   Daviston;   David   Muir,   Gartferry;   George   Drew,   Burnbrae;   John   Tennant, Croftfoot;    Robert    Wright,    Garnqueen;    James    Baird,    Auchinloch;   Thomas    Scott,    Broomknowes;    Patrick    Baird,    Auchinloch;    John    Drew (address   not   given).   Four   days   later   they   marked   out   the   ground   for   the   Chapel,   being   part   of   a   yard   belonging   to   James   Gray,   Sen.,   of Wamflet:   "The   Committee   communed   with   John   Gray,   mason   in   Meadowside,   for   the   mason   work,   and   with   William   Martin,   wright   in Glasgow,   to   put   a   roof   upon   the   said   Chapel."   The   following   month   they   agreed   to   give   John   Gray   (mason)   40   shillings   sterling   money   for each   rood   of   good   and   sufficient   stone   work,   and   to   give   John   Watson   14   pence   a   day   for   quarrying   stones   for   the   Chapel.   A   year   later, after   due   inspection   of   the   completed   Chapel,   John   Gray   was   paid   £40   for   the   stonework.   The   managers   then   proceeded   to   let   the   450 capacity   of   the   Chapel   until   Whitsunday   1781   "upon   the   terms   that   the   takers   may   either   pay   their   money   now   or   at   any   time   before   the last day of June first to come and if not then paid they are to forfeit their seats". The   Rev.   Archibald   Provan   was   elected   minister   of   the   Chapel   on   1st   January   1780   and   he   held   the   charge   until   1793.   His   initial   salary   was £40   per   year.   He   was   succeeded   in   turn   by:   Rev.   Graham,   1793-1800;   John   Dick,   1801-06;   John   Somers,   1807-10;   Thomas   Lockerby,   1811- 18;   James   Young,   1819-53;   John   MacLeod,   1853-63;   and   John   Moodie,   1863-81.   Of   these   gentlemen   James   Young   was   remembered   for his   eccentricity.   He   was   an   excellent   preacher   and   pastor   to   his   flock,   but   he   dressed   like   a   tramp   and   lived   in   circumstances   alike   to   a pauper.   Despite   this   he   was   liked   by   the   members,   and   they   gave   short   shrift   to   a   Glasgow   Presbytery   deputation   who   sought   to investigate his strange behaviour. John   Moodie   is   recalled   as   the   minister   who   successfully   saw   the   granting   of   the   decree,   on   20th   June   1870,   for   endowment   and elevation   of   the   Chapel   and   District   of   Chryston   into   a   Church   and   Parish   Quoad   Sacra.   Seven   years   later   he   steered   through   a   decision   to demolish   the   Chapel   of   Ease   and   build   a   larger   edifice   capable   of   holding   818   persons.   This   new   church   was   opened,   free   of   debt,   on   4th August   1878,   the   total   outlay   being   £3,920,   of   which   almost   two   thirds   was   subscribed   by   the   members.   In   the   110   foot   spire,   which   is visible   for   miles   around,   was   placed   a   bell   weighing   8   cwt.   In   1884   the   present   clock   was   installed,   costing   £70   12s.   (£70.60),   this   amount being   subscribed   by   proprietors   of   land   in   the   parish   and   resident   gentry   in   the   district.   In   the   interim   period   between   the   demolition   of   the Chapel   and   entry   to   the   Church   the   services   were   held   in   Chryston   Public   School,   and   latterly   the   newly-opened   drill   hall.   The   bell   of   the Chapel   was   presented   to   the   school   and   was   used   daily   until   the   closure   of   the   school.   It   was   unfortunately   not   riecovered   during demolition of the school to make way for the Chilterns Home in 1975. In   1843,   in   the   wake   of   the   Disruption,   the   formation   of   Chryston   Free   Church   took   place.   The   owner   of   Bedlay   House,   Alex.   Campbell, supplied   free   of   charge   sufficient   stone   from   his   Bedlay   quarry   to   enable   it   to   be   built.   Its   first   minister   was   the   Rev.   William   Burnett,   who during   his   ministry   of   1845-67   reaped   the   great   upsurge   of   religious   fervour   of   the   time.   A   brass   plaque   on   the   vestibule   wall   at   the   former entrance   of   the   building   records   his   labours   "especially   in   1860-61   when   over   100   persons   were   added   to   the   church   most   of   them   as   fruit of   the   revival".   He   was   also   responsible   for   the   erection   of   the   manse,   now   West   House.   He   was   succeeded   in   turn   by   the   Rev.   Robert McMorran,   1867-70,   the   Rev.   Thomas   McAdam,   1870-80,   and   the   Rev.   Andrew   Shepherd,   1881-1930.   In   1900,   during   Mr   Shepherd's ministry,   the   union   of   the   Free   Church   and   the   United   Presbyterian   Church   took   place,   so   constituting   the   United   Free   Church   of   Scotland. Twenty-nine   years   later   union   with   the   Established   Church   took   place. The   U.F.   Church   became   known   as   the   West   Church   of   Scotland   and the   Parish   Church   the   East   Church   of   Scotland.   Following   Mr   Shepherd's   long   and   valued   ministry   there   were   the   ministries   of   the   Rev. David   Y.   Howie,   1931-37,   the   Rev.   Wilbur   C.   Lavalette,   1938-44,   and   the   Rev.   James   Minnie,   1945-48,   who   was   the   last   minister   of   the   West Church.   Until   the   outbreak   of   World   War   II   the   "Wakening   up   bell"   was   rung   every   Sunday   morning   at   9   a.m.   by   the   beadle   of   the   church. This feature was not resumed after the hostilities. The   Rev.   William   Davidson   in   1882   succeeded   Mr   Moodie   at   the   Parish   Church   and   continued   to   minister   there   for   47   years,   when   he resigned   owing   to   ill-health.   His   long   and   untiring   efforts   to   the   members   and   parish   are   recorded   by   a   tablet   on   the   north   wall,   inside   the building. He was succeeded by the Rev. Alex. L. Bennett, 1930-35, and the Rev. George W. Macarthur, 1936-70. Mr   Macarthur   saw   active   service   during   World   War   II   and   was   a   British   Expeditionary   Force   survivor.   He   later   served   in   other   theatres   of war,   and   was   awarded   the   Territorial   Decoration.   In   1949   he   was   instrumental   in   ensuring   a   linking   arrangement   between   the   West   and East   churches,   culminating   the   following   year   in   a   successful   union   of   these   congregations.   The   West   Church   was   then   reconstructed   to form   a   hall,   with   the   demolition   of   the   church   officer's   house   and   the   small   school.   Mr   Macarthur   also   made   history   in   1959   by   being   the first   minister   from   the   landward   parishes   of   the   Presbytery   of   Glasgow   to   be   installed   as   its   Moderator.   In   the   same   year   he   had   the harrowing   experience   of   officiating   at   the   memorial   service   to   the   47   men   killed   in   the   Auchengeich   pit   disaster,   and   of   giving   comfort   to the   bereaved   families.   He   retired   from   the   ministry   in   1970,   but   was   one   of   the   preachers   at   the   Centenary   celebrations   of   the   church   in 1978.   He   died   on   23rd   February   1985,   and   the   following   year   a   stained   glass   window   was   dedicated   to   his   memory.   It   depicted   the   Good Samaritan and the Good Shepherd, with a Miner's Lamp and Regimental Crest-so covering the attributes of this well liked preacher. Mr   Macarthur   was   followed   by   the   Rev.   W.   Gordon   Haggarty,   1971-76,   and   the   present   incumbent,   the   Rev.   Martin   A.   W.   Allen.   iIn September   1978   special   services   and   a   week   of   events   were   held   to   mark   the   centenary   of   the   church   building.   A   plaque   was   placed   on the inside south wall and unveiled by the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rt. Rev. Peter Brodie. UNITED   FREE   CHURCH   OF   SCOTLAND .   In   1929   the   decision   to   unite   the   United   Free   Church   of   Scotland   with   the   Established   Church   of Scotland   did   not   meet   with   the   approval   of   all   members,   the   voting   in   favour   being   162   and   those   against   133.   Some   of   the   minority decided   to   carry   on   their   form   of   worship,   and   on   25th   November   1929   the   United   Free   Church   of   Scotland   (Continuing)   was   formed.   At   its outset   services   were   held   in   the   Masonic   Hall,   until   the   present   church   in   Church   Road   was   opened,   on   3rd   January   1931.   It   cost   £1,080. The   Service   of   Dedication   was   conducted   by   the   Rev.   J.   G.   Clark,   Moderator   of   the   Glasgow   and   South   West   Presbytery,   and   just   over   a fortnight   later   the   first   Induction   and   Ordination   of   Elders   took   place.   They   were   John   C.   Barr;   David   J.   Bell,   John   Bennett,   James   Dyer, John   A.   Fleming,   William   Forrest,   William   Frame,   Samuel   Grubb,   Alex.   W.   Lochhead,   Robert   McFarlane,   Duncan   Malcolm,   James   Smith   and Oswald   Wright.   The   initial   membership   was   159,   rising   in   1962   to   its   highest   total   of   390,   before   varying   to   the   present   total   of   about   150. The   continuing   existence   of   the   church   is   due   to   the   dedicated   work   through   the   years   of   its   ministers,   office-bearers,   Sunday   School teachers, organists and church officers. MOORPARK   GOSPEL   HALL.    In   October   1892   the   Assembly   was   founded   in   the   house   of   a   Mr   Pirie,   who   earlier   had   settled   in   Muirhead from   Lossiemouth,   and   he   was   supported   by   a   local   resident,   Mr   James   Fleming.   Meetings   were   also   held   in   a   barn   near   Auchinloch,   and some   time   later   the   Assembly   moved   into   the   Evangelistic   Hall,   which   stood   on   the   corner   of   Cumbernauld   Road   and   Lindsaybeg   Road, directly   opposite   the   old Toll   House. This   Hall   served   the   Assembly   until   just   before   1939   when   deterioration   of   the   structure   was   noted.   A new   hall   was   opened   in   October   1957   and   named   "Moorpark   Hall",   later   changed   to   "Moorpark   Gospel   Hall".   Members   have   always   been interested   in   the   welfare   of   local   people,   and   in   earlier   days   Saturday   Night   Tea   Meetings,   Sunday   School   Socials   in   the   Public   Hall   and trips   by   rail   from   Garnkirk   Station   (and   later   by   doubledecker   bus)   fulfilled   this.   Activity   has   continued   to   the   present   day   with   special attention being given to senior citizens. THE   ROMAN   CATHOLIC   CHURCHES .   Prior   to   1871   parishioners   in   this   area   attended   St   Patrick's   Church   in   Coatbridge   or   a   church   in Glasgow,   reaching   there   on   foot   or   by   horse   transport.   With   the   increasing   numbers,   especially   in   Garnkirk   village,   about   1,000   catholics from   nine   north   Lanarkshire   villages   petitioned   for   a   new   church   and   school   to   be   erected   in   the   vicinity   of   Stepps,   which   was   central   to   all concerned. Their   petition   met   with   success.   St   Joseph's   Church,   Cardowan,   was   dedicated   in   1875.   In   1901   a   school   was   opened   adjacent to   the   church.   Before   this   time   classes   were   held   in   the   church,   during   which   a   curtain   was   drawn   across   the   Sanctuary.   The   small   hall   in Garnkirk village was also used. ST   BARBARA'S   R.   C.   CHURCH .   Parishioners   continued   to   worship   at   St   Joseph's   Church,   but   in   February   1947   the   decision   was   taken   to form   the   Parish   of   St   Barbara.   This   was   made   in   view   of   the   increasing   number   of   parishioners   in   the   Muirhead   and   Chryston   area,   their inconvenient   journey   to   Cardowan   and   the   limited   accommodation   of   the   church   there.   It   was   nine   years   later   that   the   new   church   to   serve the   parish   was   opened   for   worship. The   first   services   were   held   in   February   1956   and   the   building   was   dedicated   in   April   of   the   same   year by   Bishop   Scanlan.   It   stands   in   Elmira   Road,   Muirhead,   adjacent   to   the   school,   and   has   another   entrance   from   Drumcavil   Road.   It   has accommodation   for   600.   In   the   autumn   of   1992   a   hall   was   erected   adjacent   to   the   church;   it   was   formally   opened   and   dedicated   on   5th December   of   that   year   by   Father   Joseph   Devine,   Bishop   of   Motherwell.   In   May   1993   bronze   plaques   depicting   Saint   Barbara   were   placed over the porch in front of the church and also over the hall door. ST   MICHAEL'S   R.C.   CHURCH.    Some   years   after   the   formation   of   St   Barbara's   Church   a   similar   situation   arose   in   Moodiesburn,   with   the growth   of   that   area,   and   the   decision   was   taken   to   form   the   Parish   of   St   Michael. The   first   sod   of   the   new   church,   in   Glenmanor   Road,   was cut   in   February   1964   by   Archbishop   Scanlan   of   Glasgow,   and   the   service   of   dedication   was   held   on   24th   April   1966,   conducted   by   the Right   Reverend   Francis   Thomson,   Bishop   of   Motherwell.   The   new   building   caught   the   eye   with   its   circular   shape.   It   can   accommodate upwards   of   900.   In   the   mid-1980s   a   hall   was   built   adjacent   to   the   church,   to   be   used   for   various   purposes   for   the   benefit   of   the parishioners.
The Story of Chryston
by Neil Kidd