Three Into One

A brief history of the three Churches by Ian Scott

PARISH CHURCH

Tradition tells us that the church at Falkirk was founded as part of the Celtic mission of St Modan in the 7th century.  The community of Falkirk grew up round the first church building and all those that followed occupied the same site until the present day.  From 1166 the church was in the hands of the Augustinian Canons of Holyrood Abbey and most of the revenues from the rich farm lands of the district disappeared to the east!  Around 1450 a new sanctuary was built and it served the huge parish of Falkirk until the Reformation in 1560 when it became part of the reformed Church of Scotland.  In 1811 the congregation decided to replace the old building but to retain the original square tower and the octagonal bell tower which had been added in 1738.   The new sanctuary was added to the north of the tower and is essentially unchanged in the 200 years since.  Fine stained glass was installed in 1857 and 1896 and a pipe organ in 1893.  In the same decade the upper hall with crypt below was added to the south front.  In 1929 on the reunion with the United Free Church, the Parish Church was named Falkirk Old which remained until the union with St Modan’s in 1986 when the joint name was adopted. 

 

 

THE ERSKINE

The Erskine congregation had its origin in 1733 when Rev Ebeneezer Erskine of Stirling and a group of like minded Ministers led a breakaway from the established Church of Scotland over the question of state involvement in matters they thought were the province of the church alone.  In Falkirk a group of church members responded to the invitation to form what was called ‘The Falkirk Associate Congregation’ and their earliest services were held at Lochgreen and in other farms like Randyford. By 1742 they were strong enough to acquire their own church building in Silver Row now long disappeared under the Callendar Square shopping centre.   The church grew in strength despite a further division which created the little Tattie Kirk in Cow Wynd.  During the 19th century there was a coming together of different breakaway congregations and the Silver Row church had several name changes as it became part of the national United Presbyterian Church in 1847 and in 1900 the United Free Church.   In 1866 the name Erskine was added in honour of the founder.   In 1905 the old building was replaced by the handsome building in Hodge Street dominated by its 90 feet high tower. In 1929 the congregation was once again united with the established Church of Scotland and since then has served as a Parish Church in its own right.

 

 

 

 

 

ST MODAN’S

In 1896 the Minister of the new Evangelical Union church in Meeks Road Rev Robert Jackson took exception to his national church merging with the Congregationalists.  With 100 of his flock he left the EU and his breakaway congregation began worshipping in a variety of halls or abandoned churches before gaining admission to the Church of Scotland.   In November 1897 they purchased an old EU chapel in Bank Street, later the Picture House, and adopted the name St Modan’s. After a few years as a Chapel of Ease attached to the Parish Church the congregation had outgrown the old chapel building and in 1915, after a major fund-raising campaign, moved into the beautiful sanctuary in the Pleasance built of honey coloured sandstone from Brightons’ quarry. In 1923 St Modan’s was raised from its Chapel of Ease status to become a Parish Church in its own right and six years later a suite of halls was added to the west of the church building. For many people St Modan’s is most closely associated with the 40 year ministry of Rev Neil Campbell who retired in 1972. By the mid 1980s population movement resulting from industrial decline led to falling rolls and  when major repairs to the church building were required the congregation decided to enter into a merger with the Old Parish which was completed in October 1986.  

 

 

 

 

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Contact Us

Falkirk Trinity Church

Manse Place

Falkirk

FK1 1JN

Tel: 01324 611017

email: thefawkirk@outlook.com

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