Baldernock Parish Church
Baldernock Parish Church
Unless otherwise stated, all contacts should be made via Church Office, 0141 956 4405 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BALDERNOCK PARISH CHURCH - LOOKS FORWARD – PRESBYTERY MISSION ACTION PLAN
Baldernock , linked with St Paul’s , Milngavie is now part of Clyde Presbytery, a grouping of 60 churches. We have been informed that by the end of 2024, only 40 ministerial ‘charges’ will be funded and 20 churches will need to be closed. Every church was asked to provide a plan on how the members would increase engagement and mission within their local community and effectively justify why it should remain open. It is going to be a challenging and uncertain time ahead. It is those parishes that show energy and commitment to their mission activity who are likely to find they survive beyond 2024. Baldernock submitted its plan in January 2022 and copies are available.
A number of local families and friends have gathered together to provide prayer support for the community. This has evolved out of a group that used to have prayer and meditation in Baldernock Church. Please feel free to use the email email@example.com to ask for support.
There has been a church or place of worship on this site since about 1236 AD. The present church building dates back to 1795. Little is known about the church buildings before the present one beyond the fact that the new church was required because the previous building had become dilapidated. It has been said that a still earlier one was destroyed by fire.
The earliest decipherable gravestone is dated 1665, although one is known to date back to 1644, only six years after the signing of the National Covenant. Seven other stones belong to the late seventeenth century. There are no names on these gravestones. As early as 1773, a John McOuat was buried here, confirming the long association of the McOuat family with Baldernock. It is also the resting-place of Alexander Dunlop a distinguished advocate who took part in the passing of the Reform Act during the nineteenth century. The stone of William Bowie, ancestor of the present James Bowie of Whitefauld is dated 1789. The Bowies have been in this parish since the early seventeenth century.
A detailed typescript listing of older inscriptions in Baldernock Churchyard is held by East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust at the William Patrick Library, Kirkintilloch and at Brookwood Library, Bearsden, or available here in PDF format.
Baldernock Graveyard Useful Links
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In 1977 thirteen ladies of the congregation, on the inspiration and at the instigation of Mrs Joan Currie, set about the task of sewing tapestries for the seats of the 10 elders’ chairs and a cushion for the minister’s chair at the communion table. The tapestries were designed by Miss Catherine Woods of J & P Coats, and the ladies, who were not - at the outset - expert sewers, were coached, helped and encouraged by Mrs Ella Shaw who was an experienced embroidress. The resulting tapestries, depicting several scenes in the Parish, are beautiful and have been greatly admired by the congregation and by the many people who have visited the church to see them.
In 1843 came the disruption of the churches when 474 ministers of the established Church of Scotland demitted their charges and formed the Free Church of Scotland. The events leading up to this epoch in the social and religious life of the country extended over a long period of time and are very complicated. It is not the intention here to attempt an enumeration of them. Suffice it to say that the root cause of the Disruption was patronage whereby ministers could be and were imposed on parishes against the wishes of the congregation. The Disruption caused splits and divisions in congregations and communities and indeed in families, throughout the country.
The minister of Baldernock Parish Church at the time of the Disruption was the Revd John Pollock M A, who had been ordained in 1836. He ‘came out’ at the Disruption thus leaving the Parish Church vacant. Ministers who demitted their charges had, of course, to leave their manses in addition to forfeiting their stipends. Mr Pollock’s subsequent income from the Free Church for the year to 15 March 1845 appears to have been only £100. It was a time of great courage.
The small, quite unique, octagonal house which houses the Summer Openings Exhibition on the history of the parish and church, was built around 1828 at the entrance to the Churchyard. This was a shelter for the elders, who stood guard over any new graves to protect them from the grave robbers, who stole bodies to sell at the School of Anatomy in Glasgow. Each elder was armed with a stick, which was made of lignum vitae, a very hard wood. One of the sticks is still in existence today and belongs to the McOuat family, formerly of Dowan Farm. A replica of the stick is on display. On the pane of glass in the door of the Watchhouse can be seen this verse.
Within this hous
We elders dous
Look through the glass
See those that pass,
And those that gie
Their brown bawbee,
The new replacement granite war memorial, which stands just outside the Church gates, was erected in 1995 by Strathkelvin District Council as part of their VE Day Celebrations and was dedicated on 16 March 1996.
The old granite war memorial, dedicated 10 September 1921, had over the years suffered severe frost damage and now rests at the rear of the old graveyard.
The two original plaques were presented to the Church, by Strathkelvin District Council, for safekeeping and have been framed and mounted within the church building.
This document gives details of all names listed on the Baldernock War Memorial.
The Scottish Military Research Group www.scottishmilitaryresearch.co.uk/
War Memorials Trust http://www.warmemorials.org
It is well known that Baldernock Kirk is the background for the successful Graham Moffat play “Bunty Pulls the Strings”, first produced at the Haymarket Theatre in London in 1911. The play was performed in St Paul’s Church Hall in Milngavie in May 1974, in connection with a Baldernock Church fund-raising project. The cast was made up of local ladies and gentlemen and was produced by Mrs Andy Stewart. It enjoyed as big a success as at the Haymarket but its run was shorter – three nights against 16 months!