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New Kilpatrick Timeline

The Church and lands of Kilpatrick were, by the gift of Maldowen, Earl of Lennox, brought under the control of the monks of Paisley Abbey, and the parish of Kilpatrick remained under the supervision of the Abbot of Paisley until the Reformation.   The name Kilpatrick is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic Cille Phàdraig - literally "Patrick's Churchyard". The fact that the Kilpatrick church and lands were given to Paisley Abbey in 1227 implies the existence of a church prior to that date.


Map of New Kilpatrick from Old Dumbartonshire book.jpg

Map taken from The book of Dumbartonshire: a history of the county, burghs, parishes, and lands, memoirs of families, and notices of industries carried on in the Lennox district. 

Irving, Joseph, 1830-1891 Edinburgh, 1879

The Reformation

The Scots Parliament approved of the Scots Confession and of the abolition of episcopacy and the saying of mass. Presbyteries came into being twenty years later.  Presbyterianism was not universally popular and there was considerable unrest in the parish of Kilpatrick, post Reformation.

The Parish of Kilpatrick was divided into Wester or Old Kilpatrick and Easter or New Kilpatrick by an Act of the Scots Parliament on 16 February 1649. The two new parishes were civil as well as ecclesiastical parishes and the stipend was divided between the two.  Easter or New Kilpatrick stretched from halfway between Whitehurst and Duntocher to Summerston, and from beyond Hilton Park Golf Course to Yoker, an area of twenty-one square miles.

A central site in Gartconnell ground was chosen for a new church.  In July 1649, the Scots Parliament gave consideration to a complaint against Sir Umphra Colquhoun of Balvie (now Mains), who had 'agriet with the quarriors for winning stains to big the said Kirk', but who, when the building was more than half finished, had commandeered the quarrymen's tools, stopped the carriers from carting and prevented the masons from working.  The outcome was the passing of an 'Act in favor of the parochiners of Easter Kilpatrick' and the resumption of work.

No image of the 1649 church exists but we know from Session records that it had galleries and outer and inner stairs.

The Rev Walter Rollock. 

He was inducted in 1650 and died the same year

The second minister to be called to Easter Kilpatrick, was Rev Robert Law, author of Memoriallis, or the memorable things that fell out within this island of Brittain from 1638 to 1684. When Charles II re-introduced episcopacy in 1661, Law was one of 300 ministers who refused to conform and had to give up his place at New Kilpatrick to the Rev Richard Laurie. The people of New Kilpatrick petitioned the Privy Council in favour of his reinstatement. He is said to have been imprisoned for taking a service in Kilsyth after refusing to accept episcopacy.

The Rev Richard Laurie. He left for England the following year.

The Rev William Duncan. Episcopalian. Many members did not attend the church and despite penalties met for public worship in private houses and the open air.  Duncan informed against them and when Presbyterianism was restored in 1688, his furniture was thrown out of the manse and he had to flee for his life.

The Rev John Dougal. Died 1712.

The Rev John Logan. Died 1750.  Described as a "well-natured, easy and good man" dogged by "melancholy and discouragement".

The Rev Andrew Gray. Presented under the patronage of the Duke of Montrose, against the wishes of the congregation. The Presbytery resolved to induct him and, at his first service, a riot took place.  Some of the offenders were imprisoned and, through the intercession of Gray, they were released.  His appointed was confirmed. Gray bought and occupied Kilmardinny House. His ministry lasted 37 years.

Rev James Carrick. Died 1787.

The Rev George Sym, author of the Old Statistical Account of Scotland (1793). Minister of New Kilpatrick until his death in 1835. He was the first minister to have another minister working within his parish, as a Relief Church was set up in Milngavie in 1788.  The demolition of the Old Parish Church of 1649 and the building of the new church took place during his ministry.

Parish of Kilpatrick - New

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Marker added by Edina on the Statistical Accounts of Scotland 1791-1845

Old Statistical Account of Scotland - New Kilpatrick (Rev George Sym)

Extracts: "The only considerable village is Millguy, which contains about 200 inhabitants, who are mostly employed as bleachers, printers, and pencillers of cloth."

The poor: "The funds [for the poor] are the collections at the church on Sundays and other days of public worship....."

"The principle disadvantages [of the parish] are the stubborn nature of a great part of the soil, and the want of good roads. The latter disadvantage, however, will soon be in a great measure removed, two lines of turnpike road being now carrying through the parish, leading from Glasgow, the one to Drymen, and the other to Balfron."




NK Church 1807.jpg

Instead of repairing the old church, the proposal to build a new one (at a final cost of £1600) was carried in 1807 and the new building was opened for worship on 21 February 1808.   It had a horseshoe shaped gallery and broad pews divided among the lairds of Garscadden, Killermont, Garscube, Mains and Dougalston, the pews behind numbered and assigned to other heritors, workers and tenants. The shape and size of this church can be seen by the stepped gables which still remain, on one of which there was a belfry.





The Rev Andrew Sym DD, son of the previous minister, Rev George Sym.

He and his father covered 83 years at New Kilpatrick between them. Author of The New Statistical Account of Scotland - New Kilpatrick (Drawn up 1835; Revised 1839). 


The Disruption of 1843 took place during his ministry.

Dissatisfaction with the relation between Church and State led to the formation of the Free Church of Scotland, but Rev Sym and New Kilpatrick 'stayed in'. Took an active interested in the Parochial Board (created 1845), was clerk of the Presbytery of Dumbarton and Secretary to the Court of the University of Glasgow. 

Beadle's house of bygone days.jpg

Endowment and separation 1873

The first daughter church of New Kilpatrick parish was the first Milngavie Parish Church, opened on 20 May 1841.  The present church was opened for worship in 1906.  At the Union of the Churches in 1929, the name St Paul's was adopted.

Drawn up 1835; Revised 1839

The New Statistical Account of Scotland - New Kilpatrick (Rev Andrew Sym)


"The only village of any consideration is Milngavie, in which there are good shops for butcher-meat, groceries, and various other wares. A fair for milch-cows is held at New Kirk (by which name the few houses near the church are usually called) on the 1st of May....".

"The temptation of adding somewhat to the family earnings, causes those who are in the neighbourhood of the printfields to be taken from school at too early an age.... Over the parish, the average proportion attending school is one-tenth of the population."

"Alehouses - There are sixteen houses licensed for the sale of spirits and ales, and two for the sale of ales alone; being at the rate of one for 31.5 families."

Hugh MacDonald - Rambles Round Glasgow extract:

...the beautiful little "kirk-toun" of New Kilpatrick. This is indeed a lovely locality, and somehow it is ever associated in our mind, since first we gazed upon it on a bright spring day some dozen years ago, with sunshine, and opening leaves, and singing birds. In our memory, to use the words of an old song, "It shines where it stands." We can never think of it under a wintry aspect. Often, amidst the turmoil and din of the city, does our fancy wander to that quiet and secluded church-yard; while in our "mind’s ear" we seem to listen to the rustling of the wind among the waving boughs, or the lonesome murmur of the passing burn which ever singeth around the green mansions of the dead.


New Kilpatrick is a very tiny hamlet. We should suppose that there cannot be more than a dozen or so of humble cottages in it altogether, if there are even so many. These, however, have been set down with an admirable irregularity, and with their patches of garden, well stocked with apple trees, gooseberry bushes, and kitchen vegetables, make altogether a most agreeable rural picture. Then there is the burn wimpling along its own little vale of flowers, with generally a group of fair-headed urchins paidlin’ about in its waters, pursuing the minnow, the eel, or the beardie, while their gleeful voices fall with a fitful music on the ear. Beyond the burn, but half enclosed by one of its links, is the neat little church, plain, unpretending, but elegant withal, and begirt with a kirk-yard so green and quiet that one could almost wish to lie down in its verdant lap, and be at rest. In the immediate vicinity of the church (on the summit of a gentle declivity sloping down to the margin of the burn, and with a fine spring at its foot) is the manse, a neat little edifice of modern erection, in the English cottage style, presenting, with its well-stocked garden and sheltering trees, an extremely pleasing aspect of elegance and comfort. There is also a handsome parish school in the village, with a diminutive hostelry, and a post-office in miniature. How enviable must be the langsyne recollections of children brought up in such a spot, when compared with those of the unfortunate little ones whose lines of early life have fallen in the noisome purlieus of the city, and whose first impressions of the world have been formed amid far other influences than those of leaves, or flowers, or the sweet voices that haunt the summer trees!   







The Glasgow and Milngavie Junction Railway opened,

with a station near New Kirk called Bearsden.

The Rev James W King, DD. Appointed to New Kilpatrick from Killearn by the Duke of Montrose, the last minister in the parish to be appointed by a patron.


The population of the parish increased considerably in Dr King's time and mission work was begun at Netherton and Blairdardie schools, culminating in the Parish Churches of Temple and Drumchapel. Steps were taken towards the creation of the Parish of Milngavie. Enlargements were made to New Kilpatrick Parish Church.  New Kilpatrick was still largely a rural parish and Dr King did some of his pastoral work on horseback, later making use of a pony and phaeton. 

His daughter, Jessie M King, was one of the artists known as The Glasgow Girls.  Her last commission was for the book cover of The Parish of New Kilpatrick by Rev James McCardel, written for the tercentenary in 1949. 

East transept added, later its entrance was converted into the present

'Good Shepherd' window.

Organ chamber built out behind the pulpit, and extended in 1880.

West transept and tower built, new bell and heating systems introduced. Opening service conducted by Rev George Matheson, author of 'O Love that wilt not let me go'.

Daughter church, Temple Parish Church was opened on 8 May 1892, after a mission was begun at Netherton School in 1873.  Parts of the parishes of Govan and Renfrew also went to the making of the new parish.  The increased population in the area led to the erection of Netherton St Matthew's Church.








The Rev Norman Macleod Caie, BD - later DD.  

Described by the local paper as 'essentially a young people's preacher, thoroughly up-to-date, broad and tolerant in his views...


He is the ablest of the Church of Scotland's young men in the West of Scotland'.

Daughter Church:
Following meetings in Blairdardie School and Drumchapel Row, work was begun on the first Drumchapel Parish Church 1901. A bigger church was opened in 1939, damaged by the blitz in 1941 and not available until 1943. three more churches were built with the increased population: Drumry St Mary's, St Andrew's ad St Marks.

The Rev John Henry Dickie, MA, JP.  He oversaw the major

renovation and re-aligning of the building in 1909–10. 

Among other appointments, he was the Convener of the

General Assembly Committee on Religious Instruction of Youth.  

In the parish he was the Chairman of  New Kilpatrick School Management Committee and a J.P. During the war years he was appointed a special lecturer to the troops in France, and subsequently his lecture, “From the trenches to Bonnie Scotland”, raised £7,000 for the soldiers and Red Cross.


Further fund-raising led to his involvement in the erection of

the ‘Dunbartonshire Hut’ in France, and to the whole family being at the Front for two winters of the war, his son fighting on the front line and Mrs Dickie spending two years as lady commandant.  The gratitude of the congregation of the church was expressed in the installation of the memorial window, The Ascended Christ.

Enlargement of New Kilpatrick Parish church to hold 1230 people.

New Kilpatrick Church War Memorial with the names of 344 parishioners connected with the Church of Scotland, unveiled by Sir Iain Colquhoun of Luss. (West Porch).

Electric lighting installed at New Kilpatrick Parish Church.

Granddaughter Church: St Margaret's Knightswood.  Disjoined from Drumchapel and Temple, a hall was opened in 1925 and the church opened in 1932.



The Rev W White Anderson, MC, MA - later DD.  


The Union of the Churches took place in 1929, during his ministry, and was celebrated in New Kilpatrick by all three ministers concerned.


He was later elected Moderator of the General Assembly in 1951.

Housing developments and the union of churches in Scotland brought together the congregations of Bearsden North (Free Church) and South (United Presbyterian) churches into the Church of Scotland in Bearsden. The parish area was divided, leaving the original New Kilpatrick church an area with boundaries at Canniesburn, Burnbrae and the Baljaffray-Stockiemuir crossroads.




The Rev James McCardel BD - later DD. 


During his ministry, the church roll grew from 1000 in 1931 to 2350 by 1955.  He oversaw the building of the "old" church halls. 


For the tercentenary in 1949, he wrote the story of the parish, New Kilpatrick Parish and its Story, and wrote a second edition  for the 325th anniversary in 1974. 

Much of the history in this timeline is taken from his book.

Daughter Church: Killermont Parish Church. 

A hall was opened in October 1935. New Kilpatrick provided an interim Kirk Session until full status was achieved in 1938.  The church was opened on 3 October 1957 by the Right Rev George F MacLeod.

Publication of 'The Parish of New Kilpatrick', written by The Rev James McCardel, minister of New Kilpatrick, to mark the The Tercentenary. The second edition was published in 1974.

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Norman Caie - this one.jpg
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Andrew Sym cropped.jpg
James W King cropped.jpg
Jessie King NK cropped.jpg
Kilpatrick Map cropped_edited.jpg
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Click to enlarge



The Rev J Fraser McLuskey MC, BD - later DD.  Before his call to

New Kilpatrick, during WWII, he had served as an Army Chaplain with the Special Air Service Regiment behind German lines in occupied France, where he won the Military Cross. 

An account of his experiences is give in his book Parachute Padre.  During his ministry, the Memorial Chapel was added to the church, the Parish of Westerton was created, and many church organisations were introduced.

Daughter Church Westerton Fairlie Memorial Parish Church. 

The Misses Fairlie, members of New Kilpatrick, left a large sum with which to build a church in memory of their brother, James Ronald Fairlie.

The church was dedicated in 1957.

Fraser McLuskey cropped.jpg




The Rev Ian Pitt-Watson BD.  By the last year of his ministry, the congregation was the largest in the Church of Scotland, in excess of 2750 communicant members. A gifted musician, he was deeply involved in the compilation of Church Hymnary 3

He introduced the Centre Aisle and the re-alignment of the pews, and installed four stained-glass windows, one in memory of his mother.  He oversaw the construction of the North Porch, the Covered Way, and the New Halls. 

Other innovations were the early morning Family Service during the summer months and the short monthly Communion Service. 

A gifted preacher, he had "an eloquence that could be dramatic in its quality and moving in its expression"

(McCardel 1974).

New Kilpatrick North Porch, new Church Hall, and Covered Way built.

The Rev David S M Hamilton BD, STM.  
Coming from West St Nicholas Parish Church in Aberdeen,
David had previously been an assistant minister to Rev Leonard Small in Edinburgh. 
David’s pastoral gifts were a keynote of his service in New Kilpatrick.


During his time here he and his wife Isabel introduced social gatherings of groups of the congregation to help members get to know each other in such a large congregation.


The practice of ascending the hill at High Craigton, the highest point of the parish, for a brief act of worship on Easter morning was regularly undertaken. 


The establishment of the Country Dancing club was another initiative to bring like minded people together in church premises from within and beyond the membership. It continues to this day.



The Secretary of State for Scotland placed New Kilpatrick Church on a list of Buildings of Architectural or Historic Importance.

Ian Pitt-Watson cropped.jpg
David SM Hamilton cropped.jpg

The Rev Alastair H Symington MA, BD.

Coming from Craiglockhart near Edinburgh, Alastair brought a preaching of high quality with an often new insight to parts of the Old Testament.

A significant outreach project during his term was the support of a church in Hungary to replace its heating system. This was achieved through the generosity of the membership. The creation of the Friends of New Kilpatrick (FONK), a charitable trust allowed members and former members now living elsewhere to keep in touch and support several fund-raising ventures.


The chancel area was enhanced by the extension of the
platform at the front of the church such that the communion
table was more visible to all sections of the congregation. This was at the expense of a loss of some pews.

The addition of a new communion table and font followed
although the former communion table is retained within the
The chancel seating was replaced with more comfortable chairs.

Alastair Symington cropped.jpg



Roddy 2023.jpg

The Rev David D Scott BSc, BD.

Originally from Ardrishaig, David first served in the parish church at the mining village of Forth, South Lanarkshire, after being assistant minister at Easterhouse. During his time, the congregation acquired (or rather inherited) and restored the small church organ now housed in the chapel.


Following the occurrence of some building settlement at the East Door and staircase a restoration project “Living Stones” was undertaken to dismantle the affected structure and rebuild it entirely. There is a stone built within the porch to commemorate its completion.


After a concerning fall of some ceiling plaster in the nave of the church, a further major restoration was carried out to replace the entire ceiling of the church. This was coupled with the complete replacement of the lighting throughout the church. Services were conducted in the New Halls while the church was

scaffolded within.


The addition of a new outreach group called Daybreak, serving those with some degree of memory loss was implemented. This continues to give relief to the carers for a time while activities to stimulate attendees is provided.


In 1999, a celebration took place of the 350th anniversary of the parish.

The Rev Roddy Hamilton MA, BD.

Originally from Gourock, and coming from a parish in Clydebank, within our own Presbytery, Roddy has brought a vibrant and signally creative and inspiring content to the preaching and togetherness of the congregation.


Exploring through new approaches, drama, music, and art in his communication in worship and education of the young, there is an emphasis on serving this parish and community with the love of God.

Use of social media and all available technological means of outreach are significant components of his spreading of the word. He is an outstanding communicator.

The initiation of a local festival has brought together groups outside the kirk, a heathier inter-church and community fellowship. This has been outsourced to others now within the community.

Broadcasting of services to those who cannot attend and those beyond the parish has opened new horizons ocommunication, particularly during the pandemic of 2020-2.

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