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LOOKING BACK: CHILDREN’S CHURCH IS OPENED

From October 1957


ST NICHOLAS, Sighthill, known all over the world as “the Children’s Church,’ was dedicated last month by the Moderator, Dr MacLeod.

Sunday Schools all over Scotland have sent nearly £50,000 in the last 10 or 12 years. One girl has gathered 2,000 ship ha’pennies. Some children have collected farthings in bottles.

Youngsters from a Sunday School in the backwoods of Canada recently sent a gift of 10s. Gifts have come from all over the Commonwealth. Children in St Margaret’s Hospital, Poona, sent a brass tray and an elephant bell.

The children’s givings are commemorated in a wall sculpture outside the main door. Designed by Thomas Whalen, it depicts Jesus receive the loaves and fishes from the boy.

The church interior is brightly decorated in white and pastel colours. One wall has a window 30 feet height – opposite is another window running nearly three-quarters the length of the church. Facing south – towards the sunlight – the glass panels are angled – clear glass facing the chancel; coloured and frosted facing the congregation, to cut out glare.

A salmon-pink roof with white beams leads down to the chancel wall of olive and lime green panels. At the rear of the church is the choir gallery, built in the cantilever principle.

At the side of the chancel is the marble-topped baptismal font and above it a picture pained by David Donaldson of a mother holding her baby.

In the church vestibule a book rest is provided for the book which will contain the names of the Sunday Schools contributing to the cost of the church.

Two halls, a kitchen, ample cloakroom accommodation, session house, vestry, manse and church officer’s house complete a very compact site.

Dr MacLeod was impressed by the church. He made a plea for brighter churches, and linked with it the suggestion that there should be a more frequent celebration of Communion.

Dedicating the church, Dr MacLeod said: “Because God has put it into the hearts of children to build this House – exceeding magnifical; Yea, because children of Canada also and children of India and other children of our Commonwealth have their hearts and prayers toward this place now in this present hour’ let us now who are so privileged to stand here this night in their name fulfil for them the godly purpose for which we are assembled of dedicating it to the honour of God’s most holy Name.”

The design of St Nicholas Church was chosen in a competition among architects which brought in a large entry. The winners were Messrs Doak and Whitelaw who have entered into partnership in the fir Ross, Doak and Whitelaw, Glasgow.

The opening of the new church means that the neighbouring district of Broomhouse will now have a separate parish and the interim moderator is the Rev. Jas. McMillan, St Anne’s, Corstorphine.

This minister of St Nicholas, Sighthill is the Rev R C Dick who was presented with a set of robes to mark the opening of the church.


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