Hamilton South Parish Church

About The Church

Groups and organisations


100 Years of Ministry



REV. JOHN OWEN 1913 - 1922

REV. G. C. H. RAMAGE 1922-1924


REV. JOHN POLLOCK 1927 - 1956

REV. JOSEPH HARDIE 1956 - 1964




REV. FRASER K TURNER 1994 - 2002

REV. GEORGE MacDONALD 2004 - 2009



Kirk Session (at 1st January 2005)

Board of Management (at 1st January 2005)



The Hamilton South Parish Church is a congregation of the Church of Scotland. It is situated at the corner of Strathaven Road and Mill Road in Hamilton . The Church serves an area with about 10,000 residents and is a linked charge with the Quarter Parish Church , with which it shares a Minister. The membership of the Church is 320 adults and it has 33 Elders. The Church operates under the national Child Protection Policy of the Church of Scotland. The Abercorn Nursing Home is within the Parish and services are held once a month at the home. The Church building was erected in 1904 and the Church Manse, built in 1903, is situated in the village of Quarter , some three miles from the Church.

TIMES OF WORSHIP: Sundays 11.00am and 6.30pm (Sept to June)

Sunday School (all ages) 11.00am

Holy Communion is administered once every quarter

Wednesday Service with Coffee Shop 09.30 am


Groups and organisations

Boys Brigade Anchor Boys Wednesdays 5.30pm

Junior Section Wednesdays 6.30pm

Company Section Wednesdays 8.00pm

Boys Brigade Pipe Band Mondays 6.00pm

Rainbow Guides Fridays 6pm

Girl Guides Fridays 7.30pm

Brownies Tuesdays 6.30pm

Sunday School Sundays 11am

Mens Club alt Mondays 7.30pm

Badminton Club Tuesdays 8pm

Guild alt Mondays 7.30pm



Minister: )


Session Clerk: Mr Ian Jaques

Church Officer: Mr Kenneth Thompson

Clerk to the Board: Mr Jack Howie

Treasurer: Elaine Ramage

Choirmaster and Organist: Mr W.J.T. Borland

Property Convener: Mr Robert Jenkins

Guild President: Ms Isabel Lindsay

Sunday School: Mrs Catherine Keir

Communications: Mrs Margaret Brown

All the above may be contacted through the e-mail address and tel numbers above, or at address: Hamilton South Parish Church

C/o The Minister

The Church Manse

Limekilnburn Road

Quarter, Hamilton ML3 7XA



100 Years of Ministry

On 5th March 2004 it was 100 years since the service was held dedicating the building known as South Church as a place of worship. At the dedication service the opening praise was Psalm 24, the last two verses of which are -

Ye gates, lift up your heads; ye doors,

doors that do last for aye,

Be lifted up, that so the King of glory enter may.

But who is he that is the King of glory? who is this?

The Lord of hosts, and none but he,

the King of glory is.

This is a short history of those who have come through the church doors to serve and worship the King of glory and of the changes made to the building and its furnishings. The information contained is from the minutes of the Deacons Court, 'A Short History of Our Church - 1966', the Hamilton Advertiser, church magazines and the personal recollections of past and present older members of the congregation. There are some gaps in detail where records have not survived.


The Kirk Session and congregation thank and bless the Lord Jesus Christ for the years the South Church has been a place to worship the Lord of hosts.



In 1875 a new minister, Mr George Wallace, came to St John's Free Church. He soon started Home Mission work among the mining folk in the Low Water's area. Meikle Earnock School was used first as a Mission Hall then in 1878 a new hall was built at a cost of over £515 at the corner of what became Hall Street, (It was not until 1889 that the debt for building works was finally cleared). At the time of the opening Mr Adam, Missionary at Low Waters, reported "In Low Waters and Eddlewood there is accommodation for 350 families but as yet only 190 houses are occupied. In the whole district there are only about 50 regular church-going people".

Mission work among young and old was steadily carried on by many of the elders and members of St John's and a series of hardworking missionaries. In 1895 Mr Robert Mitchell was appointed Low Waters Missionary and he became the first Minister of Low Waters Church when it was raised to full status in 1897.





It was during the ministry of Rev. Mitchell that the building presently known as South Church was built. The Low Waters Hall had remained in possession of St John's Church until November 1901 when it was sold to the Lanarkshire Miners Union for £320 and the money handed over to the Building Fund of the South Church. For many years after the formation of the Low Waters Church the members of St John's gave both service and money and for 40 years one of their elders, Mr John Dawson, was superintendent of the Sunday School at the Mission Church.

In 1903 a Bazaar was held to raise funds and the amount received from sales of goods was £677.2.9d and in donations £196.14.0d, a total of £873.16.9d. These figures are underlined in the minutes of the Deacons Court and rightly so, since the present day equivalent would be approximately £53,951.46p (Economic History Services). In December of the same year the monies spent on building the church were £1067.5.4d. (In 1906 it is recorded that some tradesmen were still awaiting settlement of their bills!)

The Duke and Duchess of Hamilton attended at the dedication of a memorial stone at the church on Saturday 8th October 1903. This stone can be plainly seen on the top left hand corner of the front of the church. The service dedicating the completed new church was held on Saturday 5th March 1904 and the next day the first service opening the church for Sunday worship was conducted by the Rev. Dr Balfour of Edinburgh, the Moderator Designate of the Assembly. The evening service was conducted by the Rev. T M B Paterson of West Church, Hamilton. On the Thursday evening a celebratory soiree was held in the church.

Special collections at the opening services amounted to twenty-five pounds fifteen shillings (this sum was added to the building fund). Church door collections for the month of March amounted to three pounds, sixteen shillings and nine pence (£3.85) and seat rents came to seven pounds, eight shillings and nine pence (£7.45).

In 1904 the name of the church was changed to South United Free Church. Under the Churches (Scotland) Act Commission (1905) all property was transferred from the Free Church of Scotland to the South United Free Church of Scotland on 16th November 1908. In 1929 the 'last two great branches of the Church of God in our land pledged themselves together in solemn covenant, and became united into one.' Thus the South Church became Church of Scotland and a 'Form and Order of Divine Service for use in all the united churches', with the emblem of the burning bush, was issued for use on Sunday 6th October.

On 17th April 1906 Rev Mitchell married Miss Jane Mackill and in 1913 he translated to Lochee Church, Dundee. In 1931 a new bell and belfry was dedicated in memory of Rev. Mitchell. The gift was donated by Mrs Mitchell.



REV. JOHN OWEN 1913 - 1922

When the Rev. John Owen, his wife and family came to South Church they initially lived in rented accommodation in Portland Park. They moved to the 'manse' when the church purchased Hollandbush House, just across the park of Hollandbush behind the church. The purchase price was £570.

This ministry spanned the years of the First World War and it is recorded in the Deacons Court minutes that letters were received from soldiers at the front thanking the congregation for parcels sent to them. In 1919 funds were raised to provide a memorial table commemorating those of the church who had fallen in the war. The memorial was unveiled by Sir Henry Keith and can be seen in the front vestibule.

It is also on record that the price of a 'bag' at a Congregational Social was 31/2 d. Older readers will be familiar with the paper bag of buns at church events! No doubt such evenings assisted in raising monies since in 1918 it was agreed to start an Organ Fund.

In 1922 Rev. Owen left South Church and went to Sandbank. In 1936 he took ill with appendicitis and then peritonitis set in and he died. His widow celebrated her 100th birthday at Tarbrax where she lived with her daughter.



During this ministry the church started fundraising for the first hall, which was urgently needed as the Sunday School had to meet in the church at 3pm on Sundays. The church building being the only accommodation.

Rev. G C H Ramage died suddenly on 25th August 1924, on the day that work commenced on the hall, and is buried in Wellhall Cemetery where his grave is marked by a large tombstone alongside the wall bounding Wellhall Road.




Rev. Cherry came from East Calder to the South Church and the service for his introduction was preached by the Rev. R M Buchanan, Librarian at Glasgow United Free Church College and his induction was led by the Rev. John Cook of High Church, Airdrie.

The times were difficult financially for families and churches. During the 1926 strike the church had a debt of £600 which was later paid off but strenuous efforts were made to raise funds socially for this purpose. The new 'well appointed' hall opened in March 1927 and it was noted later in the month (when the choir of Hamilton Parish Girls' Guild gave a concert) that the hall had been well used since the official opening. Another social function that month was in the form of a Table Social' with a programme by Brandon Church Choir from which it was expected the proceeds would 'help considerably to make up the leeway of the strike period'. In April the audience 'packed like herrin' in a box' to hear Park Road Girls' Club and Orchestra. The Hamilton Advertiser report states 'A South audience can't get too much of a good thing as the number of encores proved'.

The younger son of the Rev. and Mrs Cherry was killed in a motorcycle accident and the Rev. Cherry subsequently translated to Kilburnie West UF Church.



REV. JOHN POLLOCK 1927 - 1956

Rev. Pollock was junior minister at Livingstone Memorial UF Church when he received the call to South Church. During his ministry membership rose from 208 to over 450. This included a large number who were active and enthusiastic and new organisations were formed or revived: the Work Party became a Woman's Guild, and a Young Worshipers League, a Boys' Brigade and a Girl Guide Company (with the first Mrs Pollock as Captain) were formed. The Sisterhood meeting was taken over by Miss Margaret Strain, Deaconess, 'the lady in the grey uniform' - who served for thirteen years, visiting the elderly and sick and having to walk all the way as there were very few cars at this time.

Sister Margaret is also remembered as being "involved in everything" - Sunday School Superintendent, Leader of the Life Boys, involved with Boys' Brigade and President of the Woman's Guild. We have the Guild to thank for raising the funds to support the church during this period.

Times were difficult industrially and economically. The General Strike had ended but the country later suffered a general trade depression and wages were low. Local collieries had closed or were found to be uneconomical and miners had to find work outside the parish. Many families left the area and the miners' rows were eventually demolished.

During World War II the church kept in touch with and helped those on War Service. A unit of the Civil Defence under Colonel Preston was stationed in the Fairhill area and the men frequently attended public worship in the church. Some of the people, who were bombed out of their homes in Clydebank, and later in Greenock, were readily received into the humble dwellings of folks in the parish. The Woman's Guild knitted socks, gloves and scarves for soldiers stationed in barracks at Hamilton Racecourse where they also mended clothes and darned holes in socks (big holes!).

During this ministry the church bell and belfry were gifted in memory of the first minister, Robert Mitchell, by his widow. Later the church was redecorated, the chancel altered and electric lighting installed. The jubilee of the opening of the church building was celebrated in a special church service and a social gathering on 7th and 8th March 1954.

Rev. Pollock had been widowed during this time and he married his second wife, Miss Marie Gray of Baillieston, in August 1951. He died in 1972 and it was decided in view of his long service that a new lounge be built and named after him as a memorial. The Pollock Lounge was opened in 1974.



REV. JOSEPH HARDIE 1956 - 1964

In 1956, on the demission of Rev. John Pollock, the charge of Hamilton South was reduced and became linked with Quarter. Over the years many of the people of Quarter had moved to Eddlewood and there had been considerable redevelopment in the area known as Hastie's Farm.

The manse was now at Quarter Church and the South Manse, known as Hollandbush House, was sold in 1957 to a Mr Muir for £60 - the demolition value. (The house still stands and is occupied by a family). The money for the sale was not received by the South Church treasurer until 1960 and included interest. The total of £64.7.7d was used for Quarter Manse repairs.

To raise money a Talent Scheme' was instituted where the treasurer issued a half-crown talent to all who would accept and the amount returned exceeded all expectations: from an initial outlay of around £40 the sum of £600 was gathered. The original intention had been to purchase articles of furnishing to beautify the sanctuary but the generosity of the members of Martyrs Church, Kilmarnock, enabled the congregation to save the money for another project. In October 1958 a communion table, baptismal font, lectern and flower vases were dedicated - almost all of these articles being a gift from the good people of Martyrs. The money saved enabled the purchase of a pipe organ, which was duly installed and dedicated in January 1960 as a memorial to the men of the parish who died serving in World War II. Also that year, to mark the 400th anniversary of the Reformation, the Kirk Session subscribed towards the purchase of common cups for use at Holy Communion.

At this time congregational attendance was quite remarkable and it was not unusual to have chairs in the aisles. Despite this it was felt that a Parish Mission should be undertaken and some fourteen people from Quarter Church and between thirty and forty from South Church visited 2,300 houses and the response was evident both in increased attendance at services and numbers in the organisations. At the June Communion Service in 1961 483 received communion. Such numbers necessitated the purchase of extra communion cups and these were kindly donated by Mr Robert Jenkins, Session Clerk. Mr Jenkins and his brother, James, also supplied the mahogany communion trays which are still in use.

The church hall had been redecorated and refurnished but it was realised that redevelopment and new housing in the area meant that this could only be a temporary measure. In 1962 a more ambitious scheme to build a new hall began to take shape.

Rev. Hardie translated to Douglas in June 1964.



On leaving school David Stoddart joined the RAF where he served as a wireless and radar fitter. His call to train as a minister was the result of a chance meeting with the Rev. James Currie when he visited Mearnskirk Hospital one New Year's Day and spoke to a young man who had broken his leg - David. He joked to Rev. Currie that only a minister would visit on that day and Rev. Currie said "Why don't you become one yourself?" The seed was sown and on leaving hospital David had resolved to train for the ministry.

In 1963 he was injured in a car crash and spent four months in Hairmyres Hospital but was allowed to resume his ministerial studies at Trinity College, Glasgow, while wearing a plaster cast covering his body and one of his legs. This was later the subject of an STV 'Late Call' programme. Rev. Stoddart was assistant at the Westwood extension of East Kilbride Church before coming to Hamilton.

At South Church fundraising had started in 1962 for increased hall accommodation and this continued during Rev. Stoddart's ministry and included a weekly coffee morning for shoppers, a weekly car wash, car treasure hunts, concerts, fetes and a flower show. The target was £25,000 and when the new halls opened on Friday 15th May 1970 the church still needed to raise £3,000 and repay £5,000 in loans.

The interior of the church was beautified by the gift from the Kirk Session of Rosebank Church, Cambuslang, of blue seat cushioning and a dark blue velvet drape which acted as a background for a gilt cross. At this time roof and wall lighting were installed in the church.

In March 1975 Rev. Stoddart translated to Newtonmore and Laggan Churches. He has retired from the ministry and resides in Anstruther. Mrs Stoddart died in March 1983 after a long illness.



This was a first charge for Rev. Johnstone and as a young man he was focused on ministry to the young. In his first year a number of the congregation, mostly young people from South and Quarter attended the 'Jesus Alive... 1975' mission campaign in Motherwell Civic Centre.

Over the years a number of children's missions called 'Seromps' (meaning serious romps) were held. Each of these missions attracted more than 100 children between the ages of 3 and 15 who played games and listened to a Bible message. These were very busy but encouraging times. Mr Johnstone was committed not only to the mission and preaching but also the teaching of the Word and he initiated and led a very successful Bible Study Group for both churches.

The South Church missionary partner for a number of years was Alice Jones (daughter of Rev. Philip Jones). Alice was a domestic science teacher and taught at a school in Livingstonia, Malawi. She has told of the school farm facing financial crisis when unexpectedly a donation was received from South Sunday School, with this money it was decided to purchase a pure bred Brahman bull which Alice was asked to name. She called the bull Angus after her Scottish grandfather! Angus proved worthy of his Highland name for the herd soon multiplied, finances improved and local residents were soon enjoying fresh rather than dried milk. Alice visited the church on several occasions and updated the congregation on her missionary work.

The congregation also had the opportunity to meet many other missionaries who were spreading God's word throughout the world. These included Katie McKinnon, (who served in Kenya), Willie and Katie Black and family (who were in Korea) and Georgie Orme. Meeting these missionaries enabled the church to be concerned for the wider Christian family.

In 1976 plans were made to raise funds to have the church ceiling lowered and a suspended ceiling fitted and to redecorate the church walls. As part of this effort, in September 1980 the organisations of the church combined to organise a Festival of Flowers to express the theme 'Old and the New' in relation to their organisations.

In 1982 a Renovation Box was placed in the vestibule for donations and there were special efforts to raise £11,000 for pew restoration. This was completed in June 1982. The pulpit from the former Dundyvan Church, Coatbridge, was installed in a suitably redesigned pulpit area.

In March 1987 25 teams from the Session and membership, working in pairs, visited approximately 2,500 homes with a letter of invitation and a religious tract. During the year the first of the 'Church Family' weekends at Blaithwaite was held when there was a time of fun and laughter as well as Bible study and prayer. On the last evening a concert was organised which uncovered a surprising good number of talented participants. Over the time of this ministry there were several week long holidays arranged for the young people in the church, during which there were many opportunities for growing spiritually.

Rev. Johnstone translated to Mallaig and the Small Isles where he was a member of the crew of the local lifeboat. He is presently minister at Strath and Sleat Parish, Broadford, Isle of Skye.



Rev. Burnside's ordination and induction and welcoming social had a special guest in his fiancée, the Rev. Alison Hannah, whom he met while at university. The couple wed the following month at Elderslie Parish Church, Renfrewshire, and set up home in Quarter Manse.

Feeling strongly that as a church family members should be doing 'ordinary' things together such as dances, concerts and social evenings, both Billy and Alison were active in a successful church drama group which produced 'The Sorcerer's Tale', 'Follow, Follow!' and 'Aspects of Life' and various concerts. Fit members were also introduced to the pleasures of hill walking!

In June 1990 over 1000 well-wishers attended a service in the church to mark the closure of Low Waters School, where children had been taught since 1878. The Head Mistress, said "There wasn't a dry eye in the Church". With the closure of the school, South Church no longer had a non-denominational school within the parish boundary.

In 1991 Billy initiated a Wednesday morning prayer service in the church. This short service still continues in the hall and has been a blessing to those who attend, many of whom have done so since it started. In 1992 the first women elders in South Church were ordained.

Rev. Burnside decided to leave the ministry in 1993 and became a religious education teacher. He now teaches at Lochaber High School, Fort William, and Alison is Minister in the local church at Ballachulish where they now live with their two children.


REV. FRASER K TURNER 1994 - 2002

In his first letter 'A View from the Manse' in the church magazine Rev. Turner wrote - It is my calling and purpose to show the way to Jesus Christ: to show the way to Jesus Christ as a personal saviour; to show the way to be free from sin's eventual penalty... Just listen to His voice saying "This is the way Walk in it."

Methodically Rev. Turner faithfully pursued that purpose in his Worship Plans with such in-depth studies as Great Characters of the Bible, the Psalms, the Gospels, the Letters, and the Life of Christ. Passion Week services were celebrated with sermons totally focused on the Cross and Christ's resurrection.

A major series was produced in the magazine entitled 'What We Believe' with explanations of the reasons for faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour for readers to collect and 'hold on to' as a Bible believer's library of Reformed Faith. Convicted of the power of prayer Rev. Turner stated that "If nothing goes up - nothing comes down" and held many Prayer Meetings.

Mrs Turner shared her husband's convictions and in 1994 started a Ladies Bible Study group in the Manse which continued until the Turners moved on and which was a great blessing to the women who attended.

That same year Molly Paton was appointed as Missionary Partner to the church. Miss Paton was based at the hospital in Agogo, Ghana, where she taught student nurses. She visited South Church on two occasions and the children and teachers of the Sunday School were especially interested in her work and raised funds for the students. One particularly memorable visit she brought with her a nurse called Cornelia from Agogo, complete with her national dress. Cornelia charmed the Sunday School with her stately dancing to the choruses (handkerchief held daintily in hand!).

In 1995 South Church got new neighbours along in Mill Road when the Church of Scotland opened 'Cornerstone' as a care home and church members quickly made friends with Stewart, Donna, Margaret Mary and Jimmy. Church members are happy that these four are still neighbours.

Rev. Turner was passionate about outreach and initiated a few missions during his ministry, starting in the autumn of 1995 with 'Step by Step'. The next year a Youth Mission was the outreach and the Rev. Paul Beautyman, a youth worker, was guest preacher. In the spring of 1998 South and Quarter parishes had a joint outreach. South raised £3,000 for their share of the venture. All homes within the parishes were leafleted with information and invitations to special events and services. The American evangelist Ian Leitch preached and was guest speaker at Fellowship Meals. Also involved were Colin Cuthbert at house meetings, George Owen with his 'Gospel Road Show', and Greta Philip with 'The Gospel in Flowers'.

The next year three monthly Fellowship Meals were held. Churches are not immune from society at large and in 1999 the General Assembly issued a Code of Good Practice for the protection of children and young people in the Church of Scotland. Subsequently all those participating in the organisations where children attend were and are given training in the Code.

Churches are also subject to wear and tear and therefore require repair and modernisation and in 2000 new gas central heating was installed in the church and halls at a cost of £22,000.

In January 2001 the Rev. and Mrs Turner received the tragic news that their daughter Kirstine had been killed in a car accident in Cincinnati, America, where she had taken up residence in 1999 with her husband Nick Fantini and young son Nicholas. The Turners and their other daughters, Tracey and Jacqueline attended the funeral in America and on 24th February a Memorial service celebrating the life of Kirstine was held in South Church when the two parishes and friends of the family were able to join with the family in thanksgiving for Kirstine's life and faith.

During their sad visit to the States the Turners made friends with Rev. Brian and Mrs Laura Carpenter of Georgetown Presbyterian Church, Ohio. In October that young couple came to South and Quarter, where Brian preached and members were blessed by his outgoing personality, good nature and friendship. He told that at fifteen years of age he 'felt God's call after reading the biography 'A Man Called Peter' by Catherine Marshall, the wife of a Scottish immigrant from Coatbridge who became a nationally known preacher in America and Chaplain to the US Senate. Brian's letter 'A view from America' in the church magazine states that his trip to Scotland was "the culmination of seventeen years of desire" to visit our country.

Rev. Turner translated to Kiltarlity linked with Kirkhill, Inverness-shire in 2002.


The Rev. George MacDonald


The Rev George MacDonald a South African with Scottish heritage, was inducted to the linked charge in January 2004. George and his wife Monica have very quickly become valued and cherished members of the community. George's chosen field of study was Missiology, and his ministry focus is the involvement of the Church in community life. Monica has a career in public relations.



William W Hamilton

Mr Hamilton was the first Session Clerk of South Church and served in that role for twenty-two years. He also taught in the Sunday School. Two of his sons were killed during the First World War and their names are listed on the church war memorial. His daughter, Nancy, is remembered later in this booklet.

In 1921, during the miners strike, Mr Hamilton was helping others in collecting wood for old people's fires. The men were in the glen behind Hollandbush Manse when Mr Hamilton was tragically killed . by a rock falling from Neilsland Bing. In an anonymous poem published in the 'Hamilton Advertiser' the following verse commemorates this sad event -

In the twenty-wan strike things werna sae guid,

And Mr Hamilton was getting' some wid;

He loast his life in sic a guid cause -

He'll aye be remembered in Eddlewood Raws.

Many others have served as Session Clerk over the years. In recent memory we recall Robert Jenkins (who was earlier a deacon, then an elder and served a period of ten years as Session Clerk and then later stepped into the roll again for two years until his death in 1969); James Finlayson (in whose memory the Finlayson Memorial Library was dedicated); John McMinn; and Charlie Taylor (whose preparations for the Communion Service were 'meticulous and thorough1).

Andrew Pinkerton

Mr Pinkerton assembled an encyclopaedic knowledge of the church and Quarter Manse - if you wanted to know something - ask Andrew. His involvement was that of total commitment. Clerk to the Congregational Board for over 48 years and an elder for over 50 years.

The principal hobby of Mr Pinkerton's life was chrysanthemums -showing and judging at numerous flower shows and an amateur specialist in this field. He died in 2002 but will long be remembered for his dazzling display of chrysants at Harvest Thanksgiving Services and the plants he contributed for sale for church funds.

John Cook

John Cook was ordained as an elder in South Church in 1944 and only retired from active eldership duties in 1984 after 40 years service. Mr Cook had many talents, especially in the engineering and technical field - he dismantled vacuum cleaners and raised money for the church from the metal parts. After sterling was decimalised he turned pennies and ha'pennies into rings which were also sold for church funds. He died in 1994 ages 93 years. Ever active in his life, six weeks before he died he straightened an adjusting belt on the manse cooker which had bent during removal.

Miss Nancy Hamilton

Miss Hamilton served for 42 years in the Sunday School, 37 of those years as Primary Leader. In March 1978 the Kirk Session asked for donations to mark her retiral that summer. She died in March 2002.

Among others who have given exemplary service in the Sunday School are Mr David Shaw, Sunday School Superintendent, (who also stoked the coal fire for the heating system in the church before he went to work) and Mr James Thompson who retired as Sunday School Superintendent in June 1981 after a period of 15-16 years (in South and other churches he had a total of forty years service in Sunday School work).

Donald Ross

In 1979 Mr Ross was presented with a handsome quartz clock from the Kirk Session to mark 25 years service as treasurer, a post he held for 30 years in total until he retired to Newtonmore in May 1984. Mr Ross died in January 1989. His widow, Emily, is still resident in Newtonmore.

The Unnamed Workers

Over the space of a century there have been a countless number of those who have baked, prepared sandwiches, made tea and coffee, scrubbed and cleaned, polished and dusted, washed dishes, knitted and sewed, repaired all manner of defects, cut grass, weeded, painted, hammered and sawed, arranged flowers, written and typed, counted cash and figures and kept books, made music and sang - all in the service of our dear Lord, Jesus Christ.



Looking at the centennial history of the South Church and its people, we see a proud chronicle of faith, lived and shared in community: ordinary believers initiating near-impossible ventures, starting new ministries, caring in unique ways, putting scarce resources into the church of tomorrow, giving until there was no more to give, and yet never giving up. Behind the one hundred years of people, elders, children, ministers, leaders and colourful characters, there lies a sacrificial faith that moulded their tomorrows, and shaped our church of today.

And so we look back in grateful thanksgiving for God's people in our past, but at the same time we look ahead, just as they did. What is our expectation for the future of Hamilton South Parish? How are we going to allow the Lord of the Church to use us to shape our tomorrows? I do believe that our task and calling today is no different from the task of yesteryear, or in fact from that of the Church of earlier New Testament times. We too have to write a chronicle of faith lived and shared in community. As we look into the future, we can see so much further because we stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us in service of Christ. We can claim and utilise the same gift of faith that they were privileged to enjoy. Looking into the future then is not possible without the crystal ball of faith. We can see and do nothing without it. "Without faith it is impossible to please God", and surely that must be our future motto! Our future plans and goals and visionary purpose must begin with a growing vibrant faith that is prepared to address the needs of the day with boldness and innovation, in much the same way that the past heroes of faith applied their faith in their own changing environments.

The future of the Hamilton South Parish Church depends on how boldly the current challenges are addressed. The church needs to offer the fuel of hope to communities running on spiritual empty. To do this, unity in faith and purpose is crucial. That unity has to be seen to be effective. It is not only the growing unity of the linked work with the Quarter church that should be important, but also a growing concern for united action with all God's people in Hamilton. The Church of Scotland's visionary model of a Church Without Walls can only be achieved if the walls between Christians themselves are broken down. No parish church can stand alone in the face of what is happening in and around the Scottish Kirk today. Shrinking membership, unchurched youth and growing social problems are all indications of a dire need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared in a relevant way. That sharing of faith will also be more effective if walls that divide Christians from their communities are broken down and channels of love and compassionate care are dug into those dry areas needing the outpouring of Christ's love to regain contact with the Church.

This is no easy task for the South Church, or any church, but I believe the people of Hamilton South Parish Church hold the keys of the future in their hands. They have a history of faith and a future in Christ. In a sense the keys to the future are really the same keys as those to the Kingdom of Heaven: faith and a foundation in Jesus Christ, who said of his Church, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." And so I join with the people of South in bold expectation as we work together for a future that our Lord Jesus himself has already secured for us.

George MacDonald
Hamilton South and Quarter Parish




Kirk Session (at 1st January 2005)

Ian Jaques - (Session Clerk)

A Dickson Keir

Heather Stewart

Catherine Keir

William Walker

Isabel Lindsay

William Ballantyne

Maureen Livingston

Tom Blair

Ann Loudon

Murray Brown

Mary McNee

Fraser Dunn

Lyn Murray

Roy Evans

Elizabeth Nutt

Elizabeth Findlay

Ken Ramsay

Ian Hannah

William Scott

Jack Howie

Tom Stevenson

Jack Hutchison

Barbara Thompson

Margaret Jaques

Kenneth Thompson

Robert Jenkins

Agnes Taylor

Alison Gray

William Taylor

Douglas Neil

William Thomson


Board of Management

(at 1st January 2005)


Non - Elders

Jack Howie (Clerk)

Elizabeth Baird

Jack Hutchison

Janette Caughie

Ian Jaques

Grace Esplin

Robert Jenkins

Janette Evans

Mary McNee

Christine McKinnon

Ken Ramsay

Douglas Neil

William Scott

Jacqueline Smith

William Taylor

Doreen Till

Barbara Thompson

Ella Allardyce

Kenneth Thompson

May Sheridan

William Walker

Mary Boyle

Alison Gray

Lyn Hamilton