Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)
|Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:50 pm Post subject:
|For smaller town and parishes it should be quite straightforward. After 1929 the former Union Free Church would generally close or the churches would take the names North or South, or East and West of the parish.
Sometimes the old UF and old parish church are still in use but on alternate Sundays. In Drummore in Galloway the old church, Kirk Covenant, in used once a month and the former UF church is used the other three.
For large towns and cities it is difficult to follow what happened. Using something like the 1911 PO directory should help identify churches existing pre-war but that's not to say that they hadn't closed by 1919-1920.
To complicate things when they started to close Former UF churches in Edinburgh the former breakaway Free Church (later United Presbyterian, and later still United Free) of the 1840s would not necessarily merge with the original parish church it split from. Quite often they would merge with other churches of the same line rather than the nearest Church of Scotland. e.g. Former UF churches would merge with other former UF churches. Just to complicate matters further there are still Free Churches which never merged back into the 'fold'.
For example in Edinburgh it was only in 2010 that St George's West, formerly St George's UF in the West End , merged with the original St George's. In the mean time St George's (Charlotte Square) had merged in the 1960s with St Andrew's & Queen St Church on George Street to form St Andrew's and St George's - in the St Andrew's building. St Andrew's had merged with Queen Street Church in 1947.
St George's West was one of those rare congregations which had never merged and was independent for 150 years. The new merged church is called St Andrew's and St George's West.
Most city centre churches have merged over the years and in the Southside of Edinburgh the Kirk o'Field church is the result of seven or eight church mergers.
Luckily for Edinburgh a book was published in 1984 which detailed the mergers and dissolved churches up until that date. Even with that it is still hard to piece the history of a church together. However it is a relatively straightforward job to work out what has hapened in the last 25 years even though there have been quite a few mergers since then. Most churches have a website and tend to give a summary of their recent mergers.
Good luck to anyone trying to untangle Glasgow's city centre churches by the way!