Religion and Faith in Kilsyth

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Kilsyth has an absorbing history of religious belief, passion, fervour and dissent. Early Christian missionaries such as St Mirren were active in the area 1500 years ago. The first church was recorded in 1216, and there is mention of an early monastery. Since then, no major religious movement has passed Kilsyth by, from the desperate struggles of the Covenanters to the frenzied religious revivals of 1742, 1839, and 1908 when curious bystanders turned out to catch a glimpse of ecstatic converts being baptized in the near-freezing Banton Loch. Its only fair to point out there wasn't any TV or cinema in those days, so entertainment was in short supply...

William Irvine, the charismatic founder of the world-wide but secretive cult known as the "Two By Two's" was born and raised in Kilsyth - one of a long line of outstanding religious leaders from Kilsyth including the formidable James Robe, and William C Burns, the Presbyterian Missionary to China.

Religion has proved to be both a great binding force in the community, but also the source of grievous contention and strife.  As recently as 1905, to the great and lasting shame of the town, anti-Catholic riots broke out. And the "demon drink" was banned from Kilsyth by the elders in 1920 in a sustained display of prohibitionist zealotry which lasted until 1967 .

People of all faiths and beliefs in Kilsyth (and also those of none) now work, pray, and even drink together to an extent that would have been impossible to contemplate in those hard-faced and intolerant times.


Photos: Left: The great bell of The Burns and Old Parish Church. Right: Tombstone of Revd. William Hamilton Burns, who "having left the established church for conscience sake in the year 1843 presided over the congregation of the Free Church here until the time of his death May 1859 at the 81st year of his age and the 60th of his ministry".

See also Religious History of Kilsyth Links:


Anderson Parish Church

1 Kingston Rd, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 0HR    Map

01236 822345
Church Of God Parkburn Rd, Kilsyth, G65 9DG

 Tel: 01236 822344 Sunday service 11.15 am and 6.15 pm, Golden days Thursday afternoons for older people  

Map   The Pastor is Sandy McMeekin. The website address is  and the contact email address is

The Burns & Old Parish Church

11 Church St, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 0NF 
01236 823241   Map

Kilsyth Methodist Church

01236 823135

Church St, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 0NF    Map
Kilsyth Community Church

Pastors: Mark Fleming and Ian Paget

U.P. Rd, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 0BH    Map
  • Lunch Club
  • Listening Post (counselling service)
  •  TEL: 01236 822252 OR 01236 827255

A friendly and welcoming church for all.


Starts: 10:30am Starts: 6:15pm
St Patrick's Church
(600 yards)
30 Low Craigends, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 0PF    Map

01236 822136
Holy Cross Church
(1.7 miles)
Constarry Rd, Croy, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 9JG    Map

01236 822148
Church Of The Nazarene
(2.0 miles)
Main St., Twechar, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 9QE    Map

01236 822326
St John Of The Cross R C Church
(2.1 miles)
St Johns Way, Twechar, Kilsyth, Glasgow
G65 9TA    Map

01236 822263

Updated 22/07/2010