The Macdonald Memorial Window

Bellshill Central Parish Church is extremely fortunate to have many beautiful stained glass windows.

This window is the earliest church window to replace the original leaded diamond glass design

We call it the Macdonald Memorial window as it commemorates three major milestones in our church buildings history.

This window is above the pulpit and is almost hidden by the organ pipes which is rather a pity. It is best viewed from the upstairs gallery.

While not as decorative as the downstairs windows, it is still beautiful and it tells the history of Macdonald Memorial Church (now Bellshill Central Church).

There are three separate arch windows with a sort of leaf pattern at the top and bottom in green, blue and purple.

  • The window on the left has a Communion Cup in the middle of it and the date 1873 at the bottom.
  • The middle window has a Cross in the centre and the date at the foot is 1912.
  • The right window shows a Crown in the middle and the date is 1923.

In January 1873, the Free Church Presbytery of Hamilton formed a committee to look at the surrounding areas to see where there was the greatest need for mission and decided on Bellshill and Mossend. However, it was actually a group of folk who had left Holytown Church who were instrumental in setting up the Mossend Mission. Originally, it met in the Mossend Schoolroom under the care of Rev Ogilvey and the Kirk Session of Dalziel Free Church. The first occasion that the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was observed was in October 1873 when Rev Ogilvey conducted the service.

William Macdonald, a Probationer of the Free Church of Scotland, was ordained and inducted to the Bellshill Free Church (still meeting in Mossend Schoolroom) on 31 December 1874. In June 1875, the congregation moved to the site of the present Church and built a hall which required them to borrow £300 from the Bank of Scotland. By August 1877 the Church had been built and decorated. Estimates for the build had been received at £2,700 although the final cost would appear to have been £3,200. The Manse was completed by March 1881 at a cost of £832.1s.8d.

On 28 August 1900, (in view of the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland) the Church was named East United Free Church. In 1912 it was changed again, this time to Macdonald Memorial United Free Church in memory of Rev William Macdonald, its first minister.

The plaque at the front door of the Church in memory of Rev William Macdonald states that he was the ‘first pastor’ from the beginning in 1874 until 1906. It goes on to say that, ‘He was a devoted minister of the word, a zealous pastor and a true friend to his people.’

By 1923, it was 50 years since the Mossend Mission had been set up and the occasion was celebrated by large congregations at both services on Sunday, 28 October that year.


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