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History of Baljaffray Parish Church

Rev David P Munro Rev Keith T Blackwood Rev Dr Ian McEwan
Rev David P Munro Rev Keith T Blackwood Rev Dr Ian McEwan

It was in the early 1970s that the congregation of Bearsden North Parish Church first recognised the potential value of relocating the congregation to a site and building in the growing area of Baljaffray.

Practical difficulties prevented fulfilment of this plan, but in April 1980 the congregation, led by their minister the Rev. David Munro, opened a Hall in Baljaffray which became home to a number of community organisations as well as to the occasional service of worship.

It was in 1993 that the congregation, with support from the Church of Scotland, finished building a church on the site of the Hall, at the heart of ever-expanding Baljaffray. This building was officially opened on 25th August 1993 and, as the Church Centre, it provided regular Sunday Services for thirteen years until August 2006, when the growing Baljaffray congregation became a Parish Church in its own right.

For three months the new church was part of a Linkage with its sister congregation of Bearsden North, but this was severed on 3rd December 2006, when the Rev. Keith Blackwood surrendered responsibility for the mother church to the Rev. John Harris, minister of Bearsden South Parish Church, which on the same date became merged with the North Church under the new name of Bearsden Cross Parish Church.

Thanks to the vision and dedication of the members of the North Church over many years, and particularly of the Rev. David Munro and the Rev. Keith Blackwood, we reached an exciting point in the history of the Church of Scotland in our community: the first Service of the independent Baljaffray Parish Church was conducted on 27th August 2006 by its Minister, the Rev. Keith T. Blackwood.

In 2007, when the Rev. Keith Blackwood was called to Mannofield Parish Church in Aberdeen, we set about looking for a new minister. We were very fortunate in attracting the Rev. Dr Ian McEwan to Baljaffray to lead our young church. With his ordination on 1st May 2008, a new era began for Baljaffray Parish Church.

Over the weekend of 27/28th August 2011, we celebrated the 5th birthday of our church with a fun Saturday: an exhibition, games, a treasure hunt (preceded by a sausage sizzle) and a quiz. The Gathering Place provided tea and coffee. A celebration of Worship on the Sunday was followed by tea/coffee and birthday cake. To round off the weekend, we went on a church outing ‘Doon the Watter’.  

Under Ian’s leadership, the church has grown from strength to strength. Our Vision Statement reflects the ethos of our church which today has an established, thriving congregation. Sunday worship is well attended by adults and children, whilst groups meet on other days for Bible study, prayer or discussions on faith-related issues. We also meet for a variety of activities of interest where friendships are fostered and new members and visitors are welcomed.

During 2012/13, it became apparent that our church building was no longer big enough to contain all we want to do there. We therefore made the decision to expand and re-model our premises to make them more suitable for worship and also for the activities of the many groups that meet in our building.

This work is currently underway, and we look forward in 2014 to carrying on the life of our church in more suitable accommodation.