Maryhill Parish Church pre-1843. Drawn by the minister’s wife, Mrs Robert McNair Wilson

The original parish

On 25th May 1824, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland approved the erection of a "Chapel of Ease" at Maryhill, in what was then part of the Barony Parish of Glasgow.

The building, to accommodate 524 sitters, was funded by voluntary subscriptions (a total of 1506) and completed in 1826, on ground granted by Miss Lillias Graham of Gairbraid Estate (the daughter of Mary Hill, after whom the area became named). The first minister, the Rev Robert McNair Wilson, was elected by the congregation on 4th May 1826 and ordained to the Chapel of Ease on 17th August 1826.

Maryhill Free Church (later High Church) c.1850

The High Church

In 1843 with the advent of the Disruption, the Free Church of Scotland came into being and Mr McNair Wilson and the bulk of the congregation left to become part of the new body. Since there was no one left in the parish church they continued to worship there for a while, then moved to David Swan’s saw mill by Kelvindock. But by 1848 they had raised enough money to build and on 20th February opened their new Maryhill Free Church in Sandbank Street (then known as Church Street). In November of that year a new school was opened alongside.

Mr McNair Wilson continued in the Free Church until his death in 1874.

The Old Parish Church

Maryhill Parish Church was without a minister until 1848. Thereafter both congregations continued separately until in 1929 what had become nationally the United Free church was merged into a re-united Church of Scotland. Locally the Sandbank Street church became Maryhill High (because of its fine steeple) and the original building (with a new 1926 centenary frontage) Maryhill Old.

Memorial window

War damage

During the Second World War on the nights of the Clydebank Blitz, 13/14th March 1941, a landmine fell on Kilmun Street, and other stray bombs fell on houses locally. Many people were killed and a memorial window was later installed by the Guild in Maryhill Old Parish church.

The church building itself suffered damage and the congregation had to worship in their hall until late 1942. Decades later, in 1979, the continuing results of that damage led to the congregation having to leave the building and move into the hall again for worship.

Modern union

In 1986, the Presbytery of Glasgow decided to link the two congregations under one minister, and in 1998, the two were united, to become once again Maryhill Parish Church.

The Maryhill High building in Sandbank Street was sold and has become a private house and a nursery. The Maryhill Old building reverted to the ownership of the heritors of the Gairbraid Estate, but ultimately it was vandalised, declared unsafe and had to be demolished. Some smaller stained glass windows went to the chapel of the Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen. Sadly the larger windows did not survive.

The graveyard around Maryhill Old remains in the care of the City Council, but awaits resolution of legal issues before it can be tidied up.

Maryhill Parish ChurchMaryhill Parish church today

Rebuilding

In 2003 the hall building underwent a major renovation to make it fit for its modern, multi-purpose use, more welcoming, accessible to the disabled, and more visible in the community

Maryhill Parish Church interiorOur new chancel can be screened off if necessary

Parish grouping

In 2008 the Presbytery recognised the formation of a Maryhill Parish Grouping which currently includes the Church of Scotland congregations of Maryhill, Gairbraid, Ruchill and Kelvin Stevenson Memorial churches. Further reorganisation in 2013 led to the current grouping of Maryhill, Gairbraid and Ruchill Kelvinside churches. Together their parishes cover a population of around 27,000 people. The grouping aims to combine the talents of ministers, parish workers and volunteers in Christian mission and service to the greater Maryhill area.