Anderson Free Church

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Old Blantyre Churches

Anderson Free Church

Anderson Free ChurchThe 19th century saw many tensions within the Church of Scotland. Much of these tensions were concerned with the ‘call’ of a minister to a charge (church): should it be the land owner or the congregation itself. This came to a head in 1843 when about one third of the ministers left it and formed the ‘Free Church of Scotland’. The minister of Blantyre at the time was the Rev. James Anderson and he broke away with many of his people and formed a branch of the Free Church in the town. A church was built at once simply called ‘Blantyre Free Church’. In 1846, the church was burned down. Their new church was built in 1872 on Stonefield Road. It was built of light grey sandstone in shape of the cross (as seen from photo). In 1900 it became ‘Blantyre United Free Church’. In 1929, it went into the union to reform the Church of Scotland and was renamed ‘Anderson Church of Scotland’, after its first minister, Rev. James Anderson. A hall was built next to it in 1939.

For a few years, it became linked with Stonefield Parish and in 1978 was formally united with Stonefield Parish Church to become St. Andrews. The question of which building was to be used for worship was answered by fire!

Anderson Church Fire 1978The Anderson church, which had been empty for some time, was burned down on 8th June 1978. I am reliably informed that a Company in High Blantyre had been storing paper in the Church and on this particular Thursday, a group of young children had entered the Church and were playing hide and seek when the fire broke out. Two twelve year olds were charged and sentenced to three years Borstal Training and the rest, being under twelve, were admonished. At least one of the youths that was found guilty has no idea who started the fire but it definitely was not him. The church hall remains today as Smith’s Funeral Parlour.

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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