Moffat Town :- Amenities of Moffat
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Kirkpatrick Juxta Church of Scotland, Beattock :
Minister : Reverend Jack Stewart.
This Church was one of the earliest in the Moffat area, being referred to at a convention between a Robert de Bruce of Annandale and Engelram Bishop of Glasgow (died 1174). The Church was then as now dedicated to St. Patrick the missionary of Ireland, who was called to that duty by Celestine, Bishop of Rome. Although there are rumoured Welsh connections, Patrick is said to have been of Scottish descent. The church was referred to as 'Juxta' ('the nearest to Glasgow') from at least the 1400s, distinguishing it from churches at Kirkpatrick Fleming, Kirkpatrick Durham and Irongray, of the same dedication. Part of a church of 1626 date is said to bear the 1739 headstone of James Johnstone of Bearholm, east of the present church. The original church roof was thatched with heath (heather) until 1736 when the walls were raised and the roof slated; the floor at that time was only of gravel, stone and earth.
The present church was built in 1799 for £ 230 one shilling and tenpence, using local whinstone with sandstone cornerstones, corbels and arches, the stone coming from Corncockle or Locharbriggs quarries. In 1836, the parish was wealthy enough to afford a re-slating with 'best London Lancashire slates'. The same generosity is shown in the fine sandstone corbels supporting the Baltic Red Pitch Pine vaulted timber ceiling, the timbers being imported by way of Leith, and presumably carted to Beattock. The main door was originally the West or 'Brides' Door', but the current main door faces north, with excellent views towards Moffat and the surrounding hills.
The Church is well furnished with communion table, chairs, lectern and reading bible, pulpit light, brass offering plates, flower stands and other articles. These are in most cases funeral bequests. There is a small collection of older items, including a pewter communion plate, communion tokens and collection ladles, also a crochet of the 'Lord's Prayer'.
Notable tombstones include the James Johnstone headstone referred to, but the oldest is the 1685 stone from Alexander Proudfoot Smith to his wife Lilias Proudfoot of Annanholm. There is also a plaque on the North Wall near the pulpit to a noted Elder, Thomas Renwick, whose headstone is to the right of the North Door.
Services are held every Sunday at 9.45 a.m.
Many marriages and christenings are held at the Church, some from as far afield as the United States of America. Transatlantic connections have had unexpected benefits; Los Angeles friends gifted the kirk with a book of sermons preached in the kirk during the 1700s.
It is trusted that the examples of faith, love and fellowship shown in 800 years of this kirk, will inspire future generations to continue to worship here.
Please contact the Reverend Jack Stewart for further information.
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