Chapelton history

The two churches in the village of Chapelton, the former United Free Church and the Parish Church, became one in 1930 continuing a religious presence in the village since the 1500's.

The Old Parish Church building, which was situated between the graveyards on Bents Road, was opened in 1839 (with the foundation stone being laid on the same day as Queen Victoria's coronation, 28th June, 1838).

The building used for worship today, (the former UF Church) dates back to 1887. Interestingly with the link to Rankin, the Reverend Alexander Rankin, who was Interim Moderator of Chapelton Preaching Station from 1849-1855 led the prayer of dedication at the laying of the memorial stone at the opening of the Church.

History of our Church Buildings

The 18th of June 1887 edition of the Hamilton Advertiser recorded that on Wednesday 15th June, on a beautiful summer night, Sir William Collins of the Glasgow publishing firm laid the Memorial Stone of our Church. Sir William had been pleased to come to Chapelton because his father had laid the foundation stone of the Quoad Sacra Parish Church (in Bents Road between the two cemetries) on the 27th June 1833.

The original Free Church, now the village hall, required repairs and a heating system. the congregation decided to hold a sale of work and bazaar in the Town Hall, Hamilton, to raise funds. This was such a success that instead of repairing the old Church they built our present one. The site was acquired from Mr Semple of Meads on easy terms.

With the union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church of Scotland on the 2nd October 1929, it was decided to demolish the Quoad Sacra Parish Church and our Church became the only one in the village.

The buildings remained the same until in March 1955 Mr J. Frew prepared plans for a new kitchen extension - there had been no kitchen before. Three schemes were prepared and eventually in 1956 one was approved and a small kitchen and passage was built where the vestry now is, mostly by voluntary labour.

In December 1967 additional ground was acquired from Mr. McPherson, Main Street, and plans were drawn up for a new hall. this involved enlarging the kitchen and the erection of new toilets, stage etc. and altering the position of the main entrance gate to allow a drive to be formed around the Church for car parking. The structural work was carried out by Strathaven Contractors, but the painting and finishing work was carried out by voluntary labour once again. The hall was opened in September 1969. The cost was approximately £7500 of which £4000 was donated by Tom Struthers who lived in the Manse at the time.

In 1973 the interior of the Church was painted and new carpets were laid. The Chancel had previously been altered, the side rails removed, the steps formed on three sides and the box pews on each side of the Church removed.

In 1978 it was decided to build a chair store to the side of the hall. Later the plans were changed and a new kitchen extension was built with a store over, and the original kitchen was converted to the present vestry. This work was carried out by the late Bob Simpson.

The heating of the Church was originally by a coal fired boiler in the basement, serving cast iron water pipes in the Church and open fires in the small hall and vestry. An electric boiler was later installed and in 1982 electric heaters were installed.

With thanks to Mr. J. Frew for compiling this history

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