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St. John's Episcopalian Church, Moffat

St. John the Evangelist
(Episcopalian) Church :

Burnside, Moffat.
Priest-in-Charge : Reverend Martin Robson,
All Saints' Rectory, Ashgrove Terrace, Lockerbie DG11 2BQ.
Tel. : 01576-202484.

Click on picture for larger image.

Introduction :

Welcome to St. John's. This Church is part of the Scottish Episcopalian Church, who are in full communion with the Church of England, other Anglican Churches worldwide and many Lutheran Churches.

St. Johne's is the fourth Episcopalian place of worship in Moffat, the congregation first celebrating from 1855-1863 in Morrison's School House in Well Road, clergy being arranged by Lord Rollo of Dumcrieff. Between 1863 and 1879, the Liverpool merchant Mr. J.T. Lawrence of Craigieburn arranged the services of clergy and a small Church in Mansfield Place was built. Mr. Lawrence was to commission a larger Church of wood and corrugated iron, at the present site in Burnside in 1879. Irrepressible Scots humour led to the Church being termed 'The Tin Tabernacle' and 'The Iron Church'. During this period, visiting clergy conducted services only during the summer and autumn months.

St. John's Iron Church 1879-1951

Click on picture for larger image

St. Ninian's School and St. John's Church :

The father of the famous Lord Hugh Dowding was a member of the St. John's congregation. In 1879, Mr. Dowding and the Reverend W.H. Churchill founded St. Ninian's Preparatory School for Boys. There were close links between the School and St. John's; during term time, pupils formed the Choir, and school chaplains were licenced as Honorary Assistant priests of St. John's. In 1880, St. John's became a Licensed Mission in the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, ordained masters from St. Ninian's School serving the Church. Services were then held every Sunday throughout the year.

From 1887, the first Priest-in-Charge was appointed, the Reverend J.C. Adams, and from 1889 the charge was raised to the status of an incumbency. The ties between St. Ninian's School and St. John's remained strong; from 1929 to 1938, the Reverend F. Wingate Pearse was both Headmaster and the Rector ofSt. John's.

The Present St. John's Church :

The Iron Church was demolished in 1951 and the present Church erected upon the site. The new church was designed by Mr. Ian Lindsay of Edinburgh and dedicated in 1953. With the closure of St. Ninian's School, the School Chapel was demolished to make room for the Royal Air Force Association home of Dowding House. A stained glass window of the 1900s by Eric Kempe, commemorating old boys who fell in the Boer War, was stored away.

During 1989 the Church was refurbished, the Hall and a new entrance porch built and consecrated. Unusually, the orientation of the church and its altar is now towards the west, whilst the refurbishment gave the opportunity to add the stained glass from the chapel as the West Window. The stained glass crucifixion and figures of Saint George now stand above the altar. The glass has Kempe's trademark of a sheaf of wheat in one corner.

Scheduled Services :

Due to the services of two retired Rectors, St. John's offers a good range of services to resident and visitor alike. :-

Sunday : 8.00 a.m. : Prayer Book Said Communion Service
Sunday : 1.15 a.m. : Modern Sung Communion Service, followed by Sunday School and Coffee.
(This is a Family Service on the last Sunday of the month).
Wednesday : 9.45 a.m. : Said Communion Service.
(On the first Wednesday of the month, followed by the St. John's Fellowship Meeting. Men and women members of the congregation, and any friends and visitors to Moffat, are most welcome).

Please contact Reverend Martin Robson for further information.

Enquiries about this page can also be forwarded by e-mail through

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Page added to Moffat Business Index on 8st December 1999,
last updated 17th January 2000.