Building our future on the shoulders of our past

A Short History of Lochcraig Church

“Before the union of 1929 the church was known as Glencraig and Lochore United Free Church. The foundation stone was laid by John Wilson Esq. M.P. Chairman of The Wilson’s and Clyde Coal Company on 23rd September 1903.

Coal had been mined in the area for hundreds of years. First by the Romans then by an early French community. The heritors[1] had promised to build a school but could not agree where this should be built.  Instead a school was built by angry parents at Flockhouse. This caused much rivalry. On one occasion the school door was nailed shut by the Laird – one of the heritors called Sir Malcolm of Lochore.

This building became in time the church meeting place until the new church was built in 1904.

The records show that from the time of his induction in 1893

Rev C Mason of the United Free Church at Portmoak also undertook spiritual duties for the care and support of people residing in the Lochore district. Worshipping in the Flockhouse Mission Hall. He was assisted by lay missionaries sent by the Central Home Mission Committee. On the occasions of the Sacraments at Flockhouse he was assisted by elders from Portmoak Church. In addition to this work there was a Sunday School and Sunday evening meetings.

Rev Mason travelled from Portmoak nearly every day or night of the week, sometimes by pony and trap but more often by bicycle. Such arrangements could not go on indefinitely.

The Presbytery, possibly foreseeing the union of Balgeddie and Portmoak Churches meant that Rev Mason could carry out full time duties at Glencraig and Lochore.

Permission for the necessary funds to be collected for a building of a manse at Glencraig was given.

In September 1908 Rev Mason was recognised by the Presbytery as minister of the church, and the congregation became a separate charge.

The manse was built and completed free of debt at a cost of over £900.

Donations were received from the local coal companies and proceeds from the sale of Portmoak manse. There was a handsome donation of £100 from Sir John Wilson, who also gave the site free.

In 1912 it was agreed to fit a bell and belfry to the church.

Fundraising for hall, vestry and kitchen was slowly gathered in.

Rev Mason died on 9th Jan 1925 after a short illness. He did not see the result of all the efforts.

Following the death of Rev Mason a memorial tablet was erected in the church and unveiled by Mrs Mason, 4th October 1929.

[1] Heritors The Heirs.