St John's: A Brief History - 1843 - 1929

The Disruption to the Re-Unification


1843  A small group of dissenters, lead by a hard core of 7, walk out of the Parish Kirk to form a congregation of Free Church worshippers.
1844  The first church building is built in Orchard Street: "a simple solid and even stern structure, with but an earthen floor."
1845  The first minister appointed. The Rev. John White, originally from Ireland, leads the congregation for 60 years.
1863  A decision to erect a new church building is made since the congregation has now grown too large to be adequately accommodated in the original church building. A new site at Hamilton Street is identified, and plans are made for the new building.
1865  The new church building is opened. Having been started in May, 1864, the new building is opened on Sunday 1 January 1865. The cost of the building is £1100, and this is fully paid up within 6 years.
1879  Opening of Law Free Church. St John's plants a church in the mining village of Law. Building starts in the summer of 1878, and the church is opened the following May.
1900  The union of the Free Church and the United Presbyterian churches of Scotland to form the United Free Church of Scotland (UFC). The name St John's is used for the first time.
1902  Transepts are added to the church to provide extra seating space because of the continuing increase in numbers.
1904  The Great Bazaar is held to raise money to clear the cost of adding transepts to the church, and to build a vestry, session house and cloakroom. The great bazaar is held from 8-10 September and attracts attention from all over Lanarkshire. It raises £1170.
1908  Organ introduced to public worship in St John's to replace the services of the precentor at evening services. The last precentor, Robert Watson threatens to resign, unless he is "assisted on Sabbath days and practice nights with an organ".
The Rev John White dies, at the age of 92.
1911  First organist and choirmaster, Robert Barrie is appointed despite apparently strong resistance to change from some
1923  The Freewill Offering Scheme,the system of weekly envelopes, is introduced in May
1927  Individual communion cups are introduced to replace the Common Cup, used up to that point.
1929  Union with the Established Church of Scotland occurs. Carluke St John's is, once more, part of the National Church of Scotland.