January 2019 is a significant month in the Parish of Ardchattan as it will see the closure of Ardchattan Kirk, which was opened for worship in 1836, and has been in continuous use for worship for the last 182 years.
“If only the walls could talk”, what stories would the walls of Ardchattan Kirk have to tell? The walls and fabric of the building have remained relatively unchanged since its completion in 1836, but the Parish has changed. In early days, especially on Sundays when the Sacrament of Holy Communion was celebrated, the Church would have been full to its capacity of 420, as people travelled from all corners of what was then the largest parish in land area in Scotland. Food was cooked in the side rooms and everyone fed. The central Communion table would have been full. No matter the type of occasion - commemorative services, happy or sad occasions – the church has been integral to family life in the area over the years.
It was built by J & W Dundas (or Dalziel?) of Hamilton, and using plans by Oban architect John Thompson at an estimated cost of £972-4s-1d, using local granite and sandstone, and has stood the test of time. It was financed by the landlords of the local estates of Ardchattan, Barcaldine and Lochnell.
In 182 years, there have only been 7 Ministers, and the forebears of some of today’s church members would have attended the opening service of worship.
Ardchattan Kirk, 182 years of worship – but what makes a church a real church? People, people who worship, and people will continue to worship in the Parish of Ardchattan, offering friendship, support and encouragement to all in the years to come.