Why a church in Kelvindale should be called St John’s-Renfield can be explained by its history. Two distinguished nineteenth-century city-centre churches, St John’s and Renfield merged in 1923 and the decision was made to move westward to the expanding suburbs and establish a new church in Kelvindale.
Architect James Taylor Thomson won the 1927 design competition with his plan for an imposing building in the Modern Gothic style. The church is built on a constrained cruciform plan with a very tall nave, chancel and transepts and lower side aisles. The most notable external feature is the highly ornate, open-work lead flèche which marks the crossing. The external walls are built of stone from Auchenheath near Lanark and the internal walls are of Northumbrian stone. The church was dedicated for worship in January 1931.
Inside, the height of the building and the many large windows give a sense of spaciousness and light.
The fine pendant lights and the carved oak pulpit, communion table and chancel stalls are all in keeping with the overall design of the building.
The striking stained glass east window is by the distinguished Aberdonian stained glass artist Douglas Strachan (1875-1950).
There is also a series of notable small stained glass windows in the side aisles; the work of Gordon Webster (1908-87), an elder in the church who worked in nearby Cleveden Crescent. Examples of the work of both artists can be found in churches and cathedrals across Scotland.
In 2008-9 a major grant-funded conservation project was undertaken during which the lead flèche was completely restored and major repairs were carried out to the roofs and high-level masonry. The church gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Architectural Heritage Trust.
Visiting the Church
This splendid B-listed building is well worth a visit. Visitors are most welcome to join the congregation for worship on a Sunday at 11am or for other services. The church is also open to visitors on Thursdays between 10am and noon from April to October and from time to time on Doors Open Day in September. An arrangement to visit the church at other times can readily be made. Contact us by clicking here.
Hiring the Church and Halls
Enquiries about the hire of the church halls (Brotherton, Small and Large Halls) will be welcomed by the Hall Lets Convener.
The church building offers a stunning venue for weddings and other occasions of celebration. The Minister warmly welcomes enquiries from those who wish to arrange a wedding or who wish to bring their youngsters for baptism. For all enquiries contact us by clicking here.