It was on the first Sunday in October 1977 at 3 PM that the Rev. John Banks, then minister of Cathcart United Free Church stood up in the assembly hall of Darnley Primary School and announced “let us worship God” and the story of Darnley Church started. There were just a handful of people present but as the service progressed more people, including children arrived. John Banks had gone to the school at invitation of Mrs Rennee Wotherspoon the head teacher and herself a member of the United Free Church. Mrs Rennee Wotherspoon had encouraged a somewhat sceptical John Banks that there was a need for Church services to be held in the area and he agreed to hold services for a trial period of a month to see if there was much interest.

There were quite a number of people including some who would become founder members of the congregation who attended these early services and so they continued beyond the first month. Indeed Mr banks became convinced that it would be possible to create a new congregation and build a church in Darnley. His vision was shared with the whole denomination and soon events where being held across the country to raise funds to “build a church for Darnley”. The general Assembly of the united free church agreed to Darnley being recognised as a new church extension and launched an appeal for funds to build a church and provide a minister.

A site was identified and new church plans where drawn up. Fund raising continued with concerts held in Glasgow City Hall and Leith Town Hall featuring the children of Darnley Primary School. There where Congregational meals and fund raising walks held across the country. The money raised combined with some generous gifts and support from the central funds of the Church meant that less than four years after the first service was held, work could begin on the new church.

In 1981 The Moderator of the 1980 General Assembly Rev J.G. Mcphee Performed the official opening .There where so many people wanting to be there that two services had to be held! For a few years the Kirk Session was made up of elders from neighbouring congregations but in 1982 the first four elders from the congregation were elected and over the next few years the Assessor elders gradually withdrew as elders from Darnley took over. There was an enormous Sunday School in the early days. At one time almost 100 children attended on Sunday mornings in the community centre next to the church as there was to hall. Membership of the congregation also grew to over 100 and financially by the late eighties Darnley church had become almost self supporting.

However things began to change as social problems and the poor quality of buildings in the local area many of the congregation moved away. The late eighties and nineties ,marked a difficult time for the Church as the whole area was redeveloped. Today however with a mixture of both social and private housing in Darnley and new estate nearby both church and community are once again thriving .The church was refurbished and new hall added in 2004.

Founding members’ Story

Read Darnley UFs' history from founding members Mrs Elizabeth McNaughton.