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Falkirk West Church,
Falkirk, Stirlingshire.

Falkirk West Church

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In 1761 Thomas Giliespie, Minister of Carnock in Fife, left the Church of Scotland to establish a new Presbyterian church which would offer relief to those who shared his dislike of patronage and the enforced settlement of Ministers on unwilling congregations. Within a few years there were a number of relief congregations in central Scotland, the Falkirk one being formed in 1767. The present building was completed in 1799 to the design of Thomas Stirling of Dunblane who was killed during the construction. The more ornate fore-building was added in 1884. The congregation joined the United Presbyterian Church in 1847 and in 1900 became the West United Free Church. From 1929 it was once again within the Church of Scotland fold as the West parish Church until 1991 when it was purchased and opened for worship as the People's Church. The graveyard was cleared in the 1960's though a number of very interesting memorials remain.


1656 Repaired by James Thomson in memory of his father & mother.

1657 Sacred to the memory of the Revd. Michael Boston; first minister of the Gospel in this place who died on the 6th February 1785, in the 40th year of his age. The distinguished peculiarities of the scholar of the gentleman, and the Christian met in him, and formed his character. Having discharged with fidelity, and general approbation , the pastoral duties of this congregation for 17 years, he fell asleep, in the hope of a glorious immortality.

1658 Sacred to the memory of the Revd. John Brown, second minister of the Gospel to this congregation who died suddenly on the 14th Jany. 1821, in the 67th year of his age and 36th of his ministry in this place. He was an accomplished scholar, and able expounder of the word of God, a correct scriptural preacher, and an honour to his preofession. His faith was firm, his life good, and his end peace.

1659 Sacred to the memory of the Rev. William Welsh, the third minister of this church. For thirty four years he preached the Gospel with great fidelity and much acceptance, and discharged the manifold duties of the pastorate until "his strength was weakened in the way". He was ordained on 6th Feby. 1822, he resigned his charge, on 5th Feby. 1856, he departed this life on 8th Septr. 1862. In 1835 he was moderator of the Synod of the Relief Church.

1660 In fond memory of the Rev. Dr. William M Grant BD. STM., PhD. 1895-1987, West Church minister 1927-67 devoted servant and friend.

1662 This stone is erected by John Robertson of Bainsford Granary in memory of his late spouse Isabel Steel who died the 18th of December 1819 aged 77 years and was burried the 25th of the same month being the first laid in this burial ground.You who read this remember that as her glass is run, yours is running, prepare for death, as judgement's coming.

1664 Erected by Robert Borthwick, Mauritius, to the memory of his father Robert Borthwick, who died 22nd November 1871 aged 66 years. His mother Margaret McLeod died 25th April 1864 aged 58 years, his grandfather Robert Borthwick, died 11th December 1855, aged 71 years, his grandmother Jane Taylor died 21st December 1859 aged 74 years.

1666 The Rev. George wade, for thirty years the minister of this church born 27th March 1832 died 24th July 1892 erected by his family in loving memory.

1667 In memory of Catherine Learmonth wife of James Rankine, distiller, Rosebank, who died 29th April 1855, James Rankine died 2nd September 1859.

1669 Sacred to the memory of Peter Gardner who died 31st May 1857 aged 49(?) years also his eldest son Andrew died 30th September 1870 aged 28 years and Catherine Mitchell wife of Peter Gardner who died at Glasgow 1st August 1886 aged 70 years.

1672 Sacred to the memory of Thomas Wilson Mary Baird, his spouse and their children
Agnes died 8th June 1826 aged 18 years
Alexander died 14 Feby. 1840 aged 26 years
Mary Baird died 12th July 1866 aged 78 years
Robert died 4th July 1867 aged 59 years
Thomas Wilson died 1st novr 1873 aged 92 years


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