The 150th Anniversary of Liberton Northfield Church
Editor’s Note: Margaret has been tidying and discovered a very interesting book in the vestry titled ‘The Kirks of Edinburgh’ by A. Ian Dunlop, 1988. It cover’s church information from 1560 to 1984 and verifies the foundation of our current building in June 1869. Here is the Liberton Northfield information contained in the book: Liberton Northfield The church is on the south Side of Gilmerton Road at the corner of Mount Vernon Road. It is a plain building on a SW/NE axis with a stone
tower and spire at the north corner. Two low transepts to seat 500 were added after the building was erected in 1870. A raked floor has above it an interesting timbered roof. The two-manual organ (made in Britain, probably by C & F Hamilton and then used in a Huguenot church in France) was installed in 1903 on the SW wall and in front is a pulpit slightly off-centre to the west with a communion table and oak furniture on the shallow dais. There is no stained glass.
Behind the church is a suite of halls – a small one erected shortly after the church was built to which extensions were made by Basil Spence. The manse is 9 Claverhouse Drive.
The Rev. Walter Fairlie and many of the congregation of Gilmerton QS joined the Free Church at the Disruption. They worshipped first in a hall at Gilmerton and in 1844 a church was opened for them in the village of Stenhouse. The remain of this building may still be seen. There was a school in the basement. The foundation stone of the present church was laid in June 1869. The architect was J. W. Smith. Transepts and hall were added later by Peddie and Kinnear in 1873. There was fire damage in the vestry in 1962. The hall facilities were extended towards Mount Vernon Road after the Second World War. The first manse was at the junction of Ellen’s Glen Road and Lasswade Road (1858). Then a move was made to 270 Liberton Drive and another to 320 Gilmerton Road in 1956. The present manse was purchased in 1967.
A hall was built at Walter Scott Avenue in the Inch housing scheme and dedicated on 17th June 1956. It was sold to the Roman Catholics in December 1971. Gilmerton Free became Liberton Free in 1856, Liberton UF in 1900, Northfield in 1929 and subsequently the name was changed – about 1956 – to Liberton Northfield.
150 years – Commemoration and Celebration
Although we probably won’t have a minister at the start of 2019, that should not stop the church family from commemorating and celebrating this significant, exciting landmark in our churches history. Session have instructed Billy Gordon and Ian Messer to form a
‘steering committee’ to produce a plan of events in 2019. It’s a blank canvas just now. Briefly, the first step is to form a Steering Committee of approximately 15 people. Don’t be upset or disappointed if you are not on this committee as the vision is for this committee to split into numerous sub-groups to organise specific events. Step 2 is a survey form going to the congregation asking members to write down their top 3 event suggestions. The committee is then tasked to, along with their own suggestions, produce a 2019 calendar of events. The vision is to involve all church organisations and organisations using our halls, and all age-groups in the events during 2019.