Jordanhill Church

One hundred and fifty years



See the Church website at


Part A   Brief resume of publications and events of 2004 and 2005

Part B   Brief chronology of important events

Part C   Notes on the bell in the Church tower


Part A


In 1954, Jordanhill Church produced a booklet entitled    "Jordanhill Church 1854 - 1954 A Historical Sketch”    The opening paragraphs state "This year Jordanhill Church celebrates its hundredth birthday.    In November, 1854, there was drawn up the first Communion Roll of Hillhead Free Church in the Presbytery of Paisley.  From that Communion Roll we trace our direct descent".


In 1980, the original booklet was reproduced and re-titled   "Jordanhill Parish Church Book One 1854 - 1954"   A companion booklet was also produced to cover the next 25 years entitled   "Jordanhill Parish Church Book Two 1955 - 1980"   The opening paragraph of Book Two makes reference to the Centenary Social held in the Hall of Jordanhill College in the autumn of 1954.   The congregation clearly marked their centenary in that year.    The book also records that the Centenary was marked by setting up a Centenary Fund to pay for the purchase of a new manse (the current manse in Southbrae Drive) and to build the extended church halls.


In November 1995, Dr Finlay Macdonald wrote an account of the years 1980 to 1995 for inclusion in a book entitled   "From Hillhead Free Church to Jordanhill Parish Church   The Story of Our Congregation"


In 2004 Jordanhill Parish Church celebrated its One Hundred and Fiftieth Birthday.  While this is not a unique achievement (neighbouring All Saints Episcopal Church also celebrates its 150th birthday),  it is notable when compared with the majority of peripheral churches in Glasgow which were formed at the turn of last century or later.


The present congregation of Jordanhill Parish Church marked this 150 year achievement  with a service of thanksgiving on Sunday 7 November 2004.   However they also arranged a number of events during 2005 to celebrate the centenary of the completion of the present church building.   See web page entitled “Jordanhill Church, foundation stone” at




Part B


A Brief Chronological History


Extracted from the Church History Booklet, Session Records

and the monthly Church newsletter

(variously know as “Record”, “Cover”, “Bulletin” and now “Link”)


 The first edition of the Church’s monthly magazine in 1928 was called the “Record”

Later editions were called the “Cover” because the pink folded single sheet fitted over and

acted as a cover for the monthly edition of the Church of Scotland Magazine “Life and “Work”.

Later it was referred to as the Church Bulletin

It is currently known as the “Link” 



1854   First Communion Roll compiled as Hillhead Church.


1859   First minister, Peter MacLachlan (till 1870)


1872   Second minister, James Jolly (till 1873)


1874   Name changed to West Hillhead Free Church.

George Douglas Ross Munro inducted


1875   Manse built (in Crow Road)


1889   Name changed to Jordanhill Free Church.


1899   Archibald Duncan Livingstone inducted as new minister


1901   Bazaar raised £1057 towards new church


1902   Death of GDR Munro


1904   Foundation stone for new church


1905   Present Church opened (dedication 8 June)


1908   UF Church Bazaar (in  Fine Arts Institute, Sauchiehall Street)


1912   Individual Communion Cups introduced.


1920   First Church Record published (now called the Link)

Cradle Roll started

            Collections taken towards installation of electric light (target £150)


1921   Electric light introduced.      

55th Girl Guide Company formed (and Brownies)


1922   Memorial Hall erected and dedicated.


1923   The west extension of the Church added.   

Pipe organ installed.


1924   New Girl Guide colours dedicated


1925   Weekly Free-will offering adopted (approved by 78% of congregation)


1927   33rd B.B. Company formed (jointly with All Saints)


1928   Sale of Work (raised £630)


1933   Badminton Club started (Saturdays at 6.30 pm)


1934   Second Communion Service started.


1936   272nd BB. Company formed.


1938   Sabbath School becomes the Sunday School


1939      George McInnes Allison induction.     

Telephone installed in the manse.


1941   Blitz damage, some windows badly affected and ceilings down.


1943   Mr Allison left


1944   John Chisholm Cockburn induction


1945   Church burglary, some silver stolen.


1946      Memorial windows unveiled.

Private communions started.


1948   Girls’ Association disbanded.


1949      Church redecorated.     

 Electrically operated bell gifted (see part C below)


1952   Collecting bags replaced collecting plates.


1953   New manse purchased in Southbrae Drive.

Womans’ Guild presents alms dish for collection bags.


1954   Jubilee Year (of Jordanhill Church — Centenary of the congregation)


1957   Brownie packs subdivided (55A on Tuesdays)


1958      Ladies Association formed.   

Congregational cruise, Loch Lomond.

 First Hall extension opened.


1960   James McMichael Orr’s induction  

First assistant minister appointed, Gordon Blake

Congregational membership peaked at 1186


1961   New Youth Club formed (leader Stuart McLean)


1962   Seat rents abolished.


1964   Election of Lady Deacons.

            Evening Communion Service transferred to afternoon


1966   Series of Television broadcasts.


1967   Five Lady Elders elected.


1972   Hall extensions completed.

            Friday evening Preparatory Communion Service abandoned


1977   Finlay Angus John Macdonald’s induction


1979   Last 6.30 Sunday evening service


1980   Seventy-fifth Anniversary of opening of the present Church.

            Renovation of interior of sanctuary


1996      Colin Charles Renwick’s induction


2004   One hundred and fifty years as a local Church




Part C


Notes on the Bell in the Church Tower


Drivers or pedestrians in Woodend Drive can pass Jordanhill Parish Church and avoid looking at it, but on a Sunday morning local residents cannot avoid hearing its bell sounding for ten minutes prior to the morning service.   Since it a weekly part of Jordanhill, here are some facts about it.


In September 1949 the bell  was rung for the first time.   The minister in these days, Mr Cockburn, had lamented the fact that the church did not have a bell.    On learning this, one of the Church members, Mr James Watson who lived in Munro Road just a few doors away from the church, agreed to dedicate one in memory of his parents.


The bell was manufactured by John Taylor and Co., Bellfounders of Loughborough.   The inscription says “To the memory of God.  presented by James Watson in memory of his father and mother 1949”.    There was a short item in the monthly However the item did not give any technical details of the bell.     The bell is rung by an electric motor activating the gong.


In 1980, during research for an exhibition, I wrote to the the original bellfounder and they were able to supply information from their records.     The bell cost £333, it is 3ft 2in diameter (96 cms), it weighs 9cwt 3qrs and 2lb (496 kg) and the note is between G and G#.



Baptismal Roll

Family history researchers might find it interesting to know that I have a photocopy of the entire baptismal roll of Jordanhill Church (Including it’s former existence as West Hillhead Church) from 1874 to mid 1966.       As part of my research, I examined the home addresses of the first 200 entries to determine the geographical spread of the congregation in the early days between 1874 and 1888.        For the record I also have a photocopy of the baptismal register for All Saints from 1854 to 1915.



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