A Short History of St. Luke’s & Queen Street Church
The Congregation was formed as St. Luke’s on the 9th July 1878. For the first six
years we worshiped in “The Iron Kirk” which was situated to the west of our present
church. The Iron Kirk was sold to St. Margaret’s Barnhill in 1884 when the existing
building was opened. The “Iron Kirk” is still in use today as a church hall.
The present Church was designed by Mr. Hippolyte J. Blanc, Edinburgh, most of the
work was carried out by local firms. A firm from Paris using Italian craftsmen did
the mosaic work in the vestibule. The total cost was around £8000.00.
On October 31st 1900 the Union of The Free Church and the Presbyterian church took
place and we became “St. Luke’s United Free Church”. Then the United Free church
and United Presbyterian church were declared to be one church under the name of “The
Church of Scotland”, and we became St. Luke’s Church of Scotland
In January 1953 a union was formed with Queen Street Church, and our Church became
St. Luke’s and Queen Street Church. A full history of the church and congregation
has been published and can be had from the church office at a modest cost.
The pink stone forming the walls of the Church was from the Dumfries area. The stonework
of the building suggests and projects a warmth and welcome which we hope encompasses
all who visit our church.
It will be self-evident that we are so proud to have inherited such a beautiful building
which is now 123 years old, being opened in1884.
In early Gothic style, it bears testimony to the excellence of the design of the
architect, Hippolyte Blanc of Edinburgh, and the workmanship of the local tradesmen
who built it.
The cost to build the church was eight thousand pounds, plus gifts of the site, the
mosaic floor finish, the granite and marble pillars, the stained glass windows and
On entering the front door from the street, the visitor will notice the mosaic paving
which continues into the vestibule and in particular the medallions bearing the monogram.
ST.L. for St. Luke’s, done by Burke & Co. of Paris.
The original congregation was known as St. Luke’s and was founded in 1878 with 14
people who belonged to the Free Church. St. Luke’s became Church of Scotland in1929
and in 1953 the Queen Street Church united with St. Luke’s.
The Porch also has a ribbed, timber ceiling and the entrance to the spire that was
never built it is to the Left of the door to the vestibule. Here also, is kept the
Visitor’s Book and the Cradle Roll.
Passing into the large, airy vestibule, the mosaic floor continues and on looking
upwards, the basket arched timber ceiling is seen. There is a double door in the
west wall leading to the car park which is used for weddings.
Along the west wall back towards the entrance, stands the information centre with
publications by a former minister, the Rev. S. Gilles McNab and a little further
back, the church library.
Straight ahead and to the left, the stone stairs with its wrought iron balustrade
and timber dado lead to the balcony where a panoramic view of the church can be seen.
To the right of the stairs lies the vestry, polygonal in shape. The vestry, originally
the ladies powder room, was at first situated at the other end of the church.
Turning right towards the church, there is a timber screen with stained glass upper
portion and doors leading into the nave at the north, centre and south aisles. To
the right of the screen and fixed to the stone pillar is found the War Memorial to
the young men of the church who fell to allow us to live in freedom.
Passing into the nave of the church, the viewer is struck by the architectural beauty
at its best, channelling the view by the pillars and arches to the apse with its
moulded gothic arch framing, in its dimness, the striking beauty of the five stained
glass windows in bold relief with the daylight shining through. These windows were
drawn by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris of London.
These windows are a memorial to David Ogilvie and his daughter Catherine, gifted
by his wife, who also gifted the land for the church.
Tearing our gaze from the distant beauty and looking upwards, the ceiling of the
nave is a timber lined collar braced roof with openwork at the crown with braces
rising from different designs of sculpted columns. Note the richly carved corbels
and look for the carved faces.
The original gasoliers, hanging from the roof have been tastefully converted to electricity.
Note that they cannot be lowered to change the bulbs.
The spandrels, i.e. the triangular portions above the arches, are decorated with
terracotta diaper work. The main walls are plastered and painted.
The columns of the arches supporting the clerestory window walls are of Shap granite,
whilst the two at the transept are of Ross of Mull granite. The columns at the arch
at the apse are of Kinsteary granite.
At the entrance to the right hand or the south transept, the famous Broughty Ferry
Harmonium can be seen, still in working order. The original congregation pioneered
the use of instrumental music for Sunday worship in the Free Church of Scotland in
Looking across the front of the apse, the lectern and baptismal font can be seen
and then at the left hand end of the apse is the pulpit. The pulpit is of grained
wood, but was intended to be of a temporary character.
To be in architecturally in keeping with the rest of the building, the church ought
to have an artistically designed stone pulpit as indeed was originally intended.
However, this pulpit has been occupied by clergymen of all denominations.
Having now reached the apse, it can be seen that it is crowned by a delightful rib
vaulted timber ceiling. The choir pews face each other in the centre of the area
and the organ is situated on the right hand side or the south wall.
See our entry in wikipedia.
Photgraph Copyright: Graham Taylor Ministries; all rights reserved