Past Ministers of the Church

1900 – 1941 1942 – 1969 1969 – 2005
David Scribner Merrow, M.A., B.D. Alexander Arnot Fleming, B.Sc. Robert Keith Hardie, M.A., B.D.
Mr Merrow was born in 1871. It is of interest to note that his ancestors were among those who migrated to America in the Mayflower in the seventeenth century. Educated in Albany Academy, now Glasgow High School, he went to Glasgow University and graduated M.A., B.D. in 1894. His first post was assistant to Rev Dr M. Campbell in Wallacestown Parish Church in Dundee. In 1898 he returned to Glasgow as assistant to Rev D, MacLeod, at Park Church, coming to Stenhouse in 1900. Mr Merrow retired in October 1941, after completing 41 years at Stenhouse. He spent the remaining years of his retirement in St. Andrews where he died in November 1947. Mr Fleming was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Loretto. He then went to Edinburgh University where he graduated B.Sc. in 1932, thereafter studying for the ministry at New College until 1936. During this latter period he combined with his studies the post of leader of the Fettesian-Lotteronian Boy’s Club in St. Giles Street. On leaving New College he was appointed assistant at Inveresk, Musselburgh and in 1938 was appointed to assistant to Rev H.C. Whitley at Newark Church, Port Glasgow. In 1940 he was appointed leader of Port Glasgow House in Lille; one of the first canteens to be opened by the Church of Scotland during the 1939-45 war and later undertook similar duties in the Orkneys. Mr Fleming left Stenhouse and Carron in 1969 to take up the charge of Howgate, Penicuik. Mr Hardie began his education at Broxburn High School. After a year in an Edinburgh insurance office, he went to Edinburgh University where he graduated M.A. in 1964 and B.D. in 1967. On leaving university, he went to assist in the Tron Church, Moredun, a church extension charge on the south side of Edinburgh. However, due to the sudden death of the minister, Rev I. Ireland, he found himself in sole charge during a six month vacancy. He was sent to assist Rev A.S. Todd at St. Machar’s Cathedral, Old Aberdeen, where he remained until his call to Stenhouse and Carron at the end of 1969. Mr Hardie retired to Berwick-upon-Tweed in September 2005.

Stenhouse & Carron: Beginnings

The church, formerly known as the McLaren Memorial Church, was built by subscription between 1897 and 1899, to celebrate the Reverend John McLaren’s 50 years as minister of the joint parishes of Larbert and Dunipace. It was also thought necessary then, to have another congregation of the “National Church” in the increasingly populated eastern part of the parish. Stenhouse & Carron church is a Grade A listed building meaning that both the interior and exterior are of national importance.

It was built on part of the old Stenhouse Estate, on ground freely given by the then owner, George Sherriff of Stenhouse and Carronvale. The design of the building was commissioned from architect John James Burnet (1857-1938) of St. Vincent Street, Glasgow, and the cost was eventually to be more than £6000.

The design influences in the church include early Gothic, Romanesque and Arts & Crafts. According to “The Buildings of Scotland” (Gifford & Arneil Walker 2002):

The only feature breaking the long lines of the church and hall roofs is the square tower, with its abrupt tile roof, which can be seen for many miles around.

An original fixture from 1900, is the silvered-bronze font by Albert Hemstock Hodge (1875-1918), a native of Islay. The communion table/war memorial (also designed by the architect JJ Burnet, with figures by William Vickers) was dedicated in 1921. All of the “memorial” stained glass in the building is the work of Douglas Strachan (1875-1950). The east window of three lights – a representation of St John’s vision in the 1st, 4th and 5th chapters of the Book of Revelation – dates to 1914. One half of a two-lighted window within the Chancel, was installed in 1922 and is a representation of the end of the walk to Emmaus. Its neighbour, from 1950, depicts Joseph’s new tomb at night, guarded by an angel, with a cypress tree. It is thought to have been Strachan’s last work. In the north wall of the nave near to the pulpit, is a two-lighted window from 1937, representing The Crucifixion.

After 1904, when the church was raised to the status of Parish Church and Parish quoad sacra, it became known as Stenhouse Parish Church. This changed again in 1963, when the congregation of Carron Church united with that of Stenhouse Church, becoming Stenhouse and Carron Parish Church.