Kirkmahoe Parish church
We are a Fellowship within the Church of Scotland worshipping God, whom we know as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We confess Jesus Christ as Saviour, and serve Him as Lord, believing the Bible to be the Word of God.
At Kirkmahoe we encourage the use of our church by the community, and occasional events take place attended by parishioners. These include musical concerts, and in connection with larger gatherings beyond the capacity of the Kirkton village hall. Increasingly the church is used by our local Duncow Primary School, to enable them to present very well attended school concerts, with much musical input. The primary school, which the minister visits, welcomes involvement with the Church. The School uses the church for their assemblies at Christmas, Easter and Harvest. During the pandemic the minister has provided weekly talks on the life of Jesus which can be found on our YouTube channel
Several members are also committed in supporting Dalswinton community, while others have an involvement with Locharbriggs. The congregation also have an interest in the overseas work of the church, and help to finance support in sponsorship, and of those in need. The annual Shoebox Appeal attracts one of the largest contributions from the region.
When there are no restrictions to worshipping in our building, we would hold a service every Sunday at 11.30 am which is followed by refreshments (including home-baking) every week. However in accordance with the recent Scottish Government announcement our face to face services have resumed once a month on the third Sunday of the month at 11.30am. Closeburn Church will meet every 2nd and 4th Sunday at 10am. Guidance is such that we can now sing together (with masks on).
Services are still available online - see the home page for more information.
Services appropriate to the Christian Year are held at Christmas and Easter, as well as Harvest Thanksgiving. A small praise group enhance the worship which the beautiful sanctuary inspires. Some members participate weekly in reading the scriptures. Currently there is no Sunday School.
Holy Communion is celebrated on the first Sundays of May and November.
Toilets and wheelchair access are available.
Parish and church building
Kirkmahoe is a parish in Dumfries and Galloway with a population of around 2,800. The parish covers part of the urban village of Locharbriggs together with the rural villages of Dalswinton, Duncow and Kirkton where the Grade-B Parish Church is situated.
The population of the parish is shown in the Church of Scotland Statistics for Mission as being made up of 25% pre-school/school and students, 50% young and mature adults and 25% elderly and very elderly people.
The first church in the area was founded by St Kentigern (also known as Mungo) and there were three “Kils” in the area during the dark ages :- Kilblaan at St Blane’s, Locharbriggs, Kilfarnock at St Earnen’s, Quarrelwood and Kilmochoe at St Mungo’s, Kirkton.
During the feudal times that followed, the one parish church at Kirkmahoe was put under the patronage of the Comyns . Then in 1492 the Stewarts (The Barons at Dalswinton) granted the endowments of Kirkmahoe to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of Glasgow and until the reformation the Rector of Kirkmahoe was usually the younger son of the Dalswinton Family and a residential prebend at Glasgow Cathedral. The Rector would appoint a vicar to serve the parish.
The Barony of Dalswinton survived the reformation, the Bishopric of Glasgow did not!!
In the 17thcentury the parish was bitterly divided between the Covenanters and the Conformists and the local Quarrelwood Dissenters and their spiritual successors in the Free Church of Scotland remained separated until 1929.
The current church that stands in Kirkton was commissioned in 1822 by the Laird of Dalswinton and his heirs and was designed by Walter Newall of Dumfries who also stayed on to manage the construction. The work, a very striking sandstone structure, was very impressively completed by June 1823, and Mr Newall was paid the princely sum of twenty guineas for this achievement.
The building has been renovated three times since it was built, the last occasion being in 1966 when the magnificent East window was put in. This window, the work of the eminent stain glass artist William Wilson, depicts the “Mighty Acts of God”, “The Expulsion from Eden”, “Moses with the Tablets of the Law”, “The Burning Bush” and the “Crossing of the Red Sea” that lead to the fulfilment of the old in the new with “Jesus’ Baptism”, the “Coming of the Holy Spirit”and “the Christ of Kirkmahoe” reigning from the cross.
We also have the “Carzield” window gifted to the church over a hundred years ago, which is a fine example of the work of W H Lonsdale the well-known 19th century architectural artist. This window displays our Lord with St Peter and St Paul in the top panels and below that shows Peter preaching to Cornelius, the “Presentation in the Temple” and Paul preaching to Agrippa.
The communion table, lectern and font with their ornate carvings of the Apostles along with ancient symbols of the church, were presented at the same time by the artist Cyril Wilson who was a long serving member of the church as well as being the organist for many years.
The church bell was designed and produced by T Mears of London and measures 60cm high by 60cm wide and hangs from the wooden beams in the belfry.
Finally the Norwich (transistorised) church organ manufactured by Miller was commissioned in 1965.
Where to find us
Kirkmahoe Parish Church, Kirkton, Dumfriesshire, DG1 1ST
Travelling on the A701 from Dumfries town centre, turn left off Edinburgh road onto the Kirkton road (before reaching Lochtorn Medical Centre). Continue on this road for about 2 miles and the church is the last building on the left as you leave Kirkton village.
From the A76 turn left at Auldgirth (if travelling towards Dumfries) and continue on this road for about 5 miles. The church is the first building on the right just before you enter Kirkton village.