exterior st machars front view

The Building

The church building is Early Gothic in style, built by Lewis Shanks, brother of one of the local mill owners in 1877-78. It was first a missionary church, then designated as 'chapel of ease' for people unable to go to the Kilbarchan parish church. In 1887 the church was designated as the parish church for Bridge of Weir.

During his ministry (1899-1939) the Rev A M Shand asked permission to rename the building St Machar's after the Cathedral in Aberdeen where he'd come from. The church's name changed to St Machar's Ranfurly after a union with Ranfurly Church in 1968. 

The Lych Gate was added in 1939. The chancel, which is brick faced internally with a small hall below was added in 1909-10 by Alexander Hislop. The enlargement of the vestibule and the addition of the Millennium Room was completed in 2005.





The Stain Glass Windows

The Chancel Windows depict three scenes:

The left depicts the Salutation of Mary.

The centre records the birth and life of Christ with the vivid red upper piece depicting the Ascension.

The right section illustrates tenets of the Christian Faith.





The West Gallery Window includes a large three light windows and has the theme of “Suffer Little Children”.

The North Aisle:

The upper circular window shows the ensign of St. George borne over a lamb.

The right hand includes a figure of St. George, holding a spear and his banner.

The left hand depicts a disciple holding the Book of the Seven Seals.

The Central Window of the North Aisle makes reference to the Water of Life.

The upper circular window shows a hart at a brook, enclosed in a vivid verdant pastoral scene.

The two lights of this window depict biblical scenes from the innumerable references in both the Old and New Testaments, in which water is regarded as life giving.

The North West Aisle Window has various scenes from the Bible associated with the education of children.

Further information on the above windows can be had at the Church in a booklet written by Maurice L Gaine in August 1996.

The Congregation:

The joining together of the two congregations of St. Machar’s Church and Ranfurly Church took place in 1968 at which time the current name was adopted and the present church building used. The old Ranfurly Church has since been converted into flats having spent some years as the local squash club.

Below is a list of ministers through the decades. For some historical records of the life of the congregation in the early years click on the subheadings. 


St Machar’s Church


Ranfurly Church








A. Wilson


T. Duncan


J. Monteith


A.M. Shand


C.R. Gilchrist


T.W. Lund


E.T. Vernon


W.M. McCartney




L.B. Bishop




D.A. McLeod




A.F. McCormick




W. Paterson




T.C. Pitkeathly




S. Dunleavy




H. Marshall




History - Saint Machar our patron saint

information about St Machar the patron saint of the church

History: 1875-1883 Beginnings under Rev Robert Turnbull

History: 1875-1883 Beginnings under Rev Robert Turnbull

History: 1884-1899 Rev Thomas Duncan

History: 1884-1899 Rev Thomas Duncan

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