History

In 1843 there were two churches in the Liberton Parish, Liberton Kirk and Gilmerton Church. The ministers of both of these churches joined the newly formed Free Church in May 1843 it was the Free Church of Gilmerton who raised the money to build a local church and Sunday school at the junction of what is now known as Ellen’s Glen Road and Ellen’s Glen Loan. The new building was opened in 1844 and named the Free Church of Liberton and Gilmerton. By 1868 the congregation outgrew this building and a new church was built at the junction of Gilmerton Road and Claverhouse Drive, called Liberton Free Church and now known as Liberton Northfield Parish Church.

In 1900 the Free Church voted by a very large majority to join with the United Presbyterian Church to form the United Free Church, and the church at Northfield became a United Free Church. A pipe organ was installed in 1903 and electric light installed at the manse built in 1870 (now Northfield House Hotel) in 1925, with electric light into the church in 1926.

Following a meeting of the United Free Church in 1929, a large majority voted to join with the Church of Scotland and the church became Northfield Church of Scotland.

The 1990’s under the ministry of Bill Thompson saw a focus on prayer, especially for the local schools, which at that point denied access to chaplaincy teams.  Encouraged by Bill Thompson, the local ministers joined regularly to pray for the south-east of Edinburgh, and in support of each other.  This link has strengthened over the years and continues to the current time.

Following the retirement of Bill Thompson in 1999, John McPake took over as minister in 2000.  By then permission for providing chaplaincy services had been gained within the schools in the area.  During the period from 2000 to date there has been encouraging work with children and their families, and joint outreach activity with other churches in the south-east of Edinburgh.  We continue to be blessed by having individuals and families from many different nations and cultures as part of the congregation.

June 2019 marked 150 years since the foundation stone of the current church building was laid.

Ministers

Year Name Information
1843 Walter Fairlie Minister of Gilmerton (Ord. 1819). Joined Free Church and became minister of Gilmerton Free, died 1856.
1856 David Kelly Guthrie Son of Dr. Thomas Guthrie, Ord. Res. 1890, died 1896.
1890 George Dodds MA BD Ord. C & S, died 1937.
1933 William Alexander MA From Broxburn West after being in Calcutta. To Inverkeithing 1949, died 1966.
1949 George Carse MA From Lethendy and Kinloch, demitted 1959, became an Advocate.
1960 John Anderson Gray RAChD Royal Army Chaplains’ Dept (RAChD). To Strone and Ardentinny 1965.
1966 Robert Smillie Christie MA BD ThM Inducted to West High, Kilmarnock in 1973.
1974 Lyon George Blair MA From Clydebank St. James, Demitted September 1975.
1976 Andrew Adam Donald Gardiner BD Ord. 29th April 1976. Went back to Australia in 1986.
1987 William Thomson From St Columba’s Church, Glenrothes. Demitted 1999
2000 John McPake Lth Demitted December 2013.
2015 Michael Taylor Demitted September 2018
2020 Attie van Wyk Current minister

Below is a selection of websites which detail some history on Liberton Northfield, the information contained in these sites is not confirmed.

http://www.greaterlibertonheritageproject.co.uk/story-library/a-history-of-liberton-free-church