name Juniper Green Parish Church appeared on 10 March
1974 when the two congregations of Juniper Green St Andrew’s and Juniper
Green St Margaret’s united
under the Rev. George Donald Cameron the minister of St
Andrew’s. St Margaret’s Church was deemed
surplus to requirements and was demolished to make way
for the sheltered housing complex of St Margaret’s
Court named after the former church building.
Rev Don Cameron was minister until his retirement in 1997.
The Rev Bernard Lodge was then Minister from 1998 until
2000, when Rev Jim Dewar was inducted as the present minister
of the parish of Juniper Green.
There were no churches in
Juniper Green before the middle of the nineteenth century.
At that time Juniper Green was part of Colinton parish
and people had to walk or ride to Colinton to attend worship.
By an Act of the Westminster Parliament in 1712, ministers
were inducted through patronage by the wealthiest members
(the heritors) rather than by election of all the members
of the congregation. This, the Patronage Act, was eventually
repealed in 1874 but not before numbers of dissenters
had left the established Church of Scotland to form churches
free of state interference such as the Original Secession
churches. In 1843 matters finally came to a head and 40%
of the ministers and members walked out of the General
Assembly to form the Free Church of Scotland. This is
given the name "the Disruption".
|History of St
the latter period of the 19th Century the expansion of the
population of Juniper Green had added to the
problems of the Church of Scotland members that remained
in Juniper Green. Perhaps the proximity of the new Free
Church had something to do with that, for those loyal to
the Kirk had to go all the way to Colinton Kirk which was
not now big enough for all its parishioners. This was exacerbated
by bad winters. The winter of 1889 had snow drifts 4 to
6 feet deep which made the journey to Colinton a difficult
one. Then the members arriving last might have to stand
because the Kirk was full.
The first suggestion was to build
a new Colinton Church between Juniper and Colinton but the
heritors, who were then responsible for church building
and maintenance, declined to do this. The result was moves
to build a Mission Church of Colinton Kirk here in Juniper
In 1890 the new Craiglockhart Church was
completed and the Iron Kirk (a form of prefabricated building)
which the congregation
had been using became surplus to requirements. A total of
120 members and adherents of the Church of Scotland in Juniper
Green signed a petition to the Presbytery of Edinburgh for
the Iron Kirk to be removed to Juniper Green. This was agreed
despite opposition from the parish minister at Colinton,
the Rev Wm Lockhart, even though this was to be a mission
church of his own congregation of Colinton. A site was found
at what was then the south-east corner of the village at
the corner of Lanark Road and Woodhall Drive and a committee
was formed to raise funds.
Work started in the winter of that year,
but disaster struck – the partly erected building was blown
down during a gale on the 1st December 1891.
Far from feeling dismayed it was considered to be a blessing
in disguise as the old woodwork was unsound and it was able
to be renewed. A minister, the Rev Charles Short, was called
and the Iron Kirk was re-erected and opened with 350 seats
on 21st February, 1892, On that day 250 people trudged through
snow to hear the opening sermon by the well known blind
preacher and hymn writer, the Rev George Mathieson, then
of St Bernard's Church, Edinburgh, but the evening service
had to be abandoned because the preacher, the Rev Dr MacGregor,
Moderator of the General Assembly was unable to get through
the people of Juniper Green were not yet satisfied, they
wanted a permanent church built of stone. Only six months'
later a Building Committee was formed to consider building
such a permanent stone church. A site was found across the
Lanark Road from the Iron Kirk that of Mrs. Wright’s dairy.
(Now the site of St Margaret’s Court). Such was the enthusiasm
of the people concerned that the foundation stone of the
new stone church was laid on the first Saturday in June,
1895, and the new church, later
to be called St Margaret's,
was opened by the Moderator of the General assembly on January,
1897. It was designed by Councillor R.M. Cameron, an architect,
and built by Messrs Turner of Juniper Green.
The Iron Church continued to be used as
the Church Hall but on the 26th December, 1907,
it was destroyed by fire, only the old harmonium, a wooden
chair, collection plate and the old church bell were saved.
The congregation was faced with building a new hall and
this was built on a new site adjacent to the church. The
builder was again Turner of Juniper Green and was opened
by Sir Oliver Riddell of Craiglockhart – a principal donor
to the building fund of St Margaret’s – in March 1913. The
former St Margaret’s Church hall now serves as a community
hall for the sheltered apartments complex of St Margaret’s
Court which was built on the ground previously occupied
by the Church.
The minister who followed Mr. Short was
the Rev. William B.C. Buchanan who was inducted on the 18th
March 1926. He was called to Kilmarnock in 1930 and was
followed by the Rev. John Henderson who left on 16 December
1943 and went on to have a distinguished career in New Zealand.
His successor was the Rev. Denis Duncan who served from
21 June 1944 until 28 February 1950. He originally left
Juniper Green to go to Glasgow. He, too, has had a distinguished
career but in England becoming editor of the British
Weekly and in 2003 had a holiday house for disabled
children named for him – Denis Duncan House. The Rev. Charles
B. Eadie was inducted on 9th October 1950 and
was followed by the Rev. Hendry F. Watt on 28th
September 1955. The last minister of St Margaret’s as an
independent congregation was the Rev. Eric A. M. Davidson
who came on 24 June 1962 and retired on the 3rd
February 1973 at the age of 70.
|History of St
neither minister in Currie or Colinton parishes came out
at the Disruption, some members of both congregations joined
the dissenters and started the Colinton and Currie Free
Church. So it was that the first minister, the Rev. Harry
Anderson, was ordained in February 1844 and the church was
built soon after in 1845 just outside the then village of
Juniper Green where Juniper Green Church now stands. The
site was chosen as being convenient to both the Currie and
the Colinton members of the new denomination. Juniper Green
village expanded considerably in the latter 19th
century resulting in a need to expand the church. In the
present vestry there is a painting of the original church
before it was reconstructed in 1879 to provide another 200
The architect of the rebuilt
church was James Fairley of Edinburgh and the builders were
Messrs Turners of Juniper Green. The rebuilding took place
during the ministry of the Rev. Charles McNeil who was inducted
in 1870. It was he who arranged for the steps at the front
to be built as closely as possible to the pattern of the
steps in front of Register House. It was also at this time
that the Evening Service was started, a Choir formed and
Hymns introduced. The dedication of the new building, then
known as Juniper Green Free Kirk, took place in 1880.
Two years later the Rev Mr
McNeil accepted a Call to St. George’s, Dumfries and the
third minister was the Rev. Hugh Falconer who served in
Juniper Green for ten years before he left for Jesmond Presbyterian
Church, Newcastle. He was later in London and Carlisle and
eventually became Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in
England. Rev. Norman Mcfarlane, whose ministry extended
almost 35 years, succeeded the Rev. Mr Falconer.
In 1900 the majority of the
Free Church of Scotland including Juniper Green Free Church
united with the United Presbyterian Church to form the United
Free Church of Scotland. The church’s name now became Juniper
Green United Free Church of Scotland
In 1926, the Rev. George S.
Gunn was ordained and inducted just before the Union of
the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church of Scotland
in 1929 after their differences had been resolved. At that
time, the congregation took a new title, St. Andrew’s Church
of Scotland, Juniper Green. A few years later, in 1935,
a fine new suite of halls was erected behind the Church.
Rev. Mr Gunn’s successor, Rev.
George Reid, was inducted in 1938. He was later to be called
(in 1949) to Claremont, Glasgow. Rev John Malcolm was inducted
in 1949 and served the congregation until 1968 when he was
called to another St. Andrew’s, this time in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The new minister, the Rev. Don Cameron who had been called
from Bellfield, Kilmarnock, was inducted in 1968. In 1974,
Rev Don Cameron was inducted again, this time as minister
of Juniper Green Parish Church which was formed following
the union of St. Andrew’s Church, Juniper Green and St.
Margaret’s Church, Juniper Green.
The War Memorial plaques for both St
Andrews and St
Margarets can be found in the vestibule of the
For details of those who died in the First
World War see WW1.
For details of those who died in the Second
World War see WW2.
A book called "History of the Churches
of Juniper Green 1843 - 1918" was written by Malcolm
A Kinnear and published in 1991. The book goes into greater
detail on the churches and a copy can be found in the church