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The Disruption and Anderson Free Church

Anderson Church

The 19th century saw many tensions within the Church of Scotland. Much of these tensions were concerned with the 'call' of a minister to a charge (church): should it be the land owner or the congregation itself. This came to a head in 1843 when about one third of the ministers left it and formed the ‘Free Church of Scotland’. The minister of Blantyre at the time was the Rev. James Anderson and he broke away with many of his people and formed a branch of the Free Church in the town. A church was built at once simply called ‘Blantyre Free Church’. In 1846, the church was burned down. Their new church was built in 1872 on Stonefield Road. It was built of light grey sandstone in shape of the cross (as seen from photo). In 1900 it became ‘Blantyre United Free Church’. In 1929, it went into the union to reform the Church of Scotland and was renamed ‘Anderson Church of Scotland’, after its first minister, Rev. James Anderson. A hall was built next to it in 1939.

For a few years, it became linked with Stonefield Parish and in 1978 was formally united with Stonefield Parish Church to become St. Andrews. The question of which building was to be used for worship was answered by fire! The Anderson church, which had been empty for some time, was burned down on 8th June 1978. The church hall remains today as Smith’s Funeral Parlour.