St. John's Renfield Church, Glasgow

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St. John's Renfield Church, Glasgow

St. John's Renfield Church is a parish church of the Church of Scotland, serving Kelvindale in the west end of Glasgow, Scotland. It is within the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of Glasgow.


The church building is situated in Beaconsfield Road, Kelvindale (within the G12 postcode area). The church is visible from the Great Western Road. Gartnavel General Hospital, Gartnavel Royal Hospital and the Glasgow Nuffield Hospital are located nearby.


The congregation has its roots in three separate congregations of the United Free Church of Scotland, namely St John's UF Church and Renfield UF Church (both located in Glasgow's city centre) and Hyndland UF Church. The two city centre churches resulted from the Disruption of 1844, breaking away from Church of Scotland congregations of the same name.

In 1923, St John's UF Church and Renfield UF Church united, henceforth using the Renfield UF Church buildings in Elmbank Street (at Bath Street), with the former St John's buildings being sold and later demolished. This was, however, only a temporary development. Recognising the move of population to the suburbs, the congregation further united with Hyndland UF Church in 1927. The church was "transported" (i.e. relocated) to the new church building in Beaconsfield Road in 1931.


The church was dedicated in January 1931. The new building was planned by the United Free Church of Scotland, but by the time of completion the UF Church had already united (in 1929) with the Church of Scotland. On 15 December 1970 the church was designated as a Category B listed building.

The church was designed in a Gothic revival style by the architect James Taylor Thomson (1887–1953). He won the competition to design the church in 1927; it was built between 1929 and 1930. Thomson's wedding took place in the church in 1931. The church also includes elaborate oak carvings and stained glass by Douglas Strachan and Gordon Webster. Also in Glasgow, Thomson designed High Carntyne Parish Church and was involved in designing the chapel of the University of Glasgow and much of the 1937 Empire Exhibition site in Bellahouston Park.


The minister (since 2009) is the Rev Fiona Lillie, who was previously minister at Stromness Parish Church, Orkney. The previous minister, the Rev Dugald Cameron, is now minister in Oban.

A former minister (1966–1976) was the Very Rev Dr James A. Simpson, who subsequently moved to Dornoch Cathedral and became Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1994. His successor was the Rev Colin McIntosh, who subsequently became minister of Dunblane Cathedral (in 1988).

The Very Rev Dr Sheilagh M. Kesting, the first woman minister to be Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, was a Probationer for the Ministry at St John's Renfield (prior to being ordained and inducted to Overtown Parish Church in Lanarkshire).