History

The parish church in Hillhead began worshipping, not in a conventional church building, but in the local community centre in 1948.

The first minister in charge of this fledgling congregation was Rev Samuel McGeachie, he was charged with the task of visiting homes in the area and conducting an evening service in the community centre.  The new area of Kirkintilloch known as “Hillhead” was formerly part of the parishes of St Mary’s and St David’s and soon members from both these churches joined the growing congregation of Hillhead.

The foundation stone of the new hall/church was laid by the Moderator of the Presbytery of Glasgow Rev J.S Lawrie on 16th June 1951 having already admitted the first minister, Rev Stewart Borthwick, the month before.  The first Kirk Session was made up of two elders from each of the churches in the district and with their help and the leadership of Mr Borthwick the congregation in Hillhead went from strength to strength.

On the 9th of October 1956 the Rev T Boyd Miller who was inducted to Hillhead parish church.  Hillhead by now was still expanding.  As well as the area of Newdyke, which the church was in the middle of, there were also houses being built in Harestanes and Rosebank to accommodate people coming out of Glasgow to live in the surrounding towns and villages ( known as the Glasgow overspill)

With the population of the Parish approaching the 10,000 mark and the communion roll at Hillhead being in the region of 900 it was evident that the hall/church was not big enough to meet the demands of the congregation.  In February 1964 work began on a new church.

The new “square” church was to be a very modern building with a central chancel and seating for 600 people. Light coloured natural wooden pews formed three sides of the church for the congregation and space on the fourth side for the pulpit and the choir. The 26ft high windows above the Chancel threw light onto the natural laminated timbers of the floor and pews.  The congregation worked tirelessly to raise money towards the cost of this beautiful new building and managed to raise a commendable £3,000.  The new church was opened in April 1965 with extra seats being brought in to accommodate the huge congregation at the formal dedication service.

Mr Miller became a very well-known face in Kirkintilloch and was instrumental in forming strong ties with the local Catholic community which still stand today.  Mr Miller was the minister of Hillhead for well over 20years and on his retiral was replaced by Rev George Forbes who like Mr Miller stayed with us until his retiral in 2000.

The modern design of the new building was soon to prove to be its downfall.  The flat roof above the seating area could not cope with the Scottish weather and soon started to leak every time it rained.  With the general decline in numbers attending church in Scotland, it was decided to demolish the building. The Housing association who bought the land were commissioned to build a new church into their planned housing development.

The congregation worshiping in the local Primary School for 4 years until our new Church was ready.

Mr Forbes was the minister until the dedication of the new building in 1999 then retired.

Following Mr Forbes was our first lady minister, Rev Lily McKinnon, who worked hard in encouraging children and young families back to the church.  Unfortunately, due to family reasons, Lily reluctantly demitted office.

In 2004 the congregation welcomed Rev Audrey Jamieson to Hillhead.  Audrey encouraged us to open up the church to more community groups and housed a fruit & veg co-operative in the church once a week.  Audrey moved on to a charge in Drumchapel and, after a short term of Interim Ministry, and a period of vacancy, the Rev Lily McKinnon returned to Hillhead.  Rev McKinnon again demitted her office and moved to Arran.

After an extended period of vacancy, Hillhead Parish Church welcomed a new minister to its flock. Rev Bill Finnie took up his new post as Ordained Local Minister on 16th September 2015

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