This photo from the 1920s is of High Blantyre Baptist Church. Known locally at the time as “The Wee Tin Kirk”, the church sat directly on Main Street, in what is now the carpark of the current Baptist Church (directly across from the derelict Apollo Bar building).
The Church was formed in 1896 by Mr. Walter (Wattie) Wilson, a clerk to a local Mining company. Walter Wilson pastored the Church for 50 years and lived in the Church Manse House in Broompark, along with his wife Tina and their family. The former manse house is still a modern home near the top of Broompark Road, near the garage.
Dr James Graham, speaking recently of his father (“The Blantyre Saint”John Graham), commented, “When my father converted to Christianity he went round the local churches in search of a spiritual home. When visiting High Blantyre Baptist Church, he met my mother and romance flourished. They were later married in the manse by the minister, Pastor Walter Wilson.”
As can be seen from the photo, a stone dyke once ran the length of the Wee Tin Kirk next to the Main Street pavement. Over the years as with every tin building, it fell into disrepair and had to be rebuilt, in the current configuration back from the road, allowing a car park.
The current Minister is Rev. Steve Younger. Born in 1959, he settled in High Blantyre in 1986. He continues to work full-time for the Church, while completing a PhD part-time at Glasgow University (in Education), as well as occasional lecturing at International Christian College (Glasgow). The Church has a very active Children’s Programme and works closely with Scripture Union.
On social media, a discussion about the Manse House (Newmains Cottage) opened up:
Linda Gilmour Roberts We knew it was a manse, but didn’t know it was for the Baptist church. Mum & dad bought Newmains Cottage from the McNaught’s who were family friends. We lived in it for 43 years. Miss the old house so much, but not a home without mum and dad.frown emoticon
Fiona Robertson Thanks, I moved to the house this year and love it. It’s great to know some of its history.