The congregation of Stenhouse and Carron Parish Church commemorate the 50th anniversary of their union on Sunday.
Stenhouse Church, formerly known as McLaren Memorial Church was built by subscription between 1897 and 1899 to celebrate the Reverend John McLaren’s 50 years as minister of the joint parishes of Larbert and Dunipace.
It stands on part of the old Stenhouse Estate on ground freely given by the then owner, George Sherriff of Stenhouse and Carronvale, and cost over £6000. It was given Parish Church status in 1904 and is now a Grade A listed building, meaning that both the interior and exterior are of national importance.
Carron Church was also built by subscription, on a site close to to Carron Works now occupied by a builder’s merchants, and opened in 1881. The church was formed as a result of the successful missionary work which had been started by John Yellowlees, a licensed probationer of the Falkirk United Presbyterian Church, three years earlier.
He was ordained in 1879 and when the church was completed was unanimously chosen to be its first minister, but the first service was conducted by the African missionary the Reverand Dr Robert Moffat DD, the father-in-law of David Livingstone.
In 1900 the church became Carron United Free Church and in 1929 joined the Church of Scotland.
In 1963, two years after their minister the Reverend A. M. Mowat was tragically killed in a road accident, the congregation of Carron Church took the difficult decision to vacate their building and unite with Stenhouse Parish Church to form Stenhouse and Carron Parish Church, with the first joint service led by the Reverend A. A. Fleming on November 17 that year.