Local Churches

The Grange is studded with Church buildings. Some, but not all, of these are still in active use as places of worship. Others have been converted to other uses; still others have been demolished or lost through fire. The variety of buildings is evidence of the many splittings and joinings which church congregations went through, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This section includes an overview of a number of the most significant churches, past and present, and reflections written by four ministers, from Marchmont-St Giles, St Catherine’s-Argyle, Salisbury Church, and the German Speaking Congregation.

Personal Memories

In the 1930s Allotments at Blackford were superseded by the Reid Memorial Church, which we watched being built. Later Fountainhall Road Church was amalgamated with Mayfield and the building demolished and replaced by the present Newington library. Sundays were much more strictly observed than now. My grandfather, a convert of Sankey and Moodie, the American evangelists, served as a missionary in China, and was deeply religious. His diaries of the 1920’s and 30’s recorded the exact text and a resume of the sermon preached at Warrender Church. From the age of seven I walked with my family to the Church in the morning and again in the afternoon for Sunday School: No gardening was done and a general quietness pervaded the household: I do not remember ever resenting this: swings at the Meadows were tied up to prevent their use, and last year when I passed at noon on a Sunday and heard the noise emanating from the circus, I paused. Perhaps the Scottish Sabbath was too strict, but has the pendulum not swung too far?

Maud Harrison – July 2003