Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church gets noticed

In another of my ‘coincidence’ links, I recently started passing a building I’d only seen in the distance for years, then learned the name of a few days ago.

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church North Face

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church North Face

After grabbing a few pics, I was amazed to visit a local news site a few days later, and see that someone there had been doing the same, and published first!

However, it already has had its own little web site.

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church

Sadly, I later found that link died – and that they appeared to have a makeover, forgotten their name, and been reborn as…

The Pyramid at Anderston

I’ve caught some of the changes in this later post:

Described as a ‘Green Pyramid’. I must be colour blind as I wouldn’t have described it as green, unless it’s a very very pale shade, and the light was bad when I was there. I really must look closer if I ever arrive there on a nice sunny day, and not well into the evening.

To be fair (to the church roof and myself), after I wrote that, it slowly started to look greener every time I looked. It must be growing on me.

The church was designed by Glasgow architects Honeyman, Jack, and Robertson and completed in 1968 as part of a wider redevelopment of the Anderston area.

Now B-listed, the church is designed as a place “for people to connect, create and celebrate”, and contains 22 rooms including offices and workspaces, plus 2 halls and an inspirational space for music, performances, conferences, and events.

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church South Face

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church South Face

From its listing entry:



The congregation of Anderson Parish Church was created by the uniting of the congregation of Anderston Old, Anderston and St Peter’s and St Mark’s-Lancefield, which were demolished during the comprehensive redevelopment of the Anderston Cross area in the 1960s. The dedication service and the laying of the foundation stone of the new church was held in St Mark’s-Lancefield in 1966, and the new church was completed in 1968 (Cooper, p45). The congregation was later joined by St Vincent Parish Church in 1977 and Kelvingrove Church in 1978.

Situated at the centre of this inner city housing estate the striking pyramidal roof and shuttered concrete belltower makes Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church a focal point in the community. The building is an important example of a post-war place of worship, exemplified by its open plan form to the church and its Brutalist detailing.

The church was designed with service to the community in mind and the building had to accommodate an unusually diverse level of activities. Therefore aside from the principal worship hall, located on the first floor below the pyramidal roof, the building has a suite of halls and meeting rooms of various sizes as well as office accommodation and living quarters.

The community work has continued in this parish and over 800 people per week are known to use the building (2013).

The open-plan design of the church demonstrates the move to a less hierarchical form of worship occurring during this period following the principles set out by the contemporary Liturgical Movement. This major international movement reformed worship by examining its purpose and exploring the relationship of the congregation to God, to each other and the wider community. From the mid 1950s a number of Church of Scotland churches were constructed as part of their National Church Extension Programme.

Some alterations have been made to the building since its construction, such as the conversion of the cloakroom to another meeting room in 1976. This alteration was carried out by the original architects so this change is in keeping with the original design. The original roof consisted of dimpled copper sheets with dormered rooflights, however the dimpling effect creating microscopic cracking and consequently the copper sheets permitted water ingress. To alleviate the problem the sheets have been replaced in anodised aluminium and the dormers have been altered to provide more light to church.

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church East Face

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church East Face


Since I know it’s there and I carelessly missed it – I have to remember to stop and not pass, and get a pic of the west face as this includes the missing bell tower!

It delayed this post’s completion, but an almost successful late night sortie netted the missing pic.

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church East Face Bell Tower

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church West Face Bell Tower

I’d wanted a better west elevation shot than this (having seen one elsewhere), but on reflection, I think this oblique view actually shows the features better than an orthogonal view.

I went back on a better day, to find it’s not really possible to get a view straight onto that tower – at least not without climbing a fence to get into the grounds of the adjacent Salvation Army site next door, which appears to have bought a chunk of the church’s former courtyard.

But this is still good, and reveals the internal structure of the tower.

Weird move with the Salvation Army next door, leaving a narrow ‘L’ shaped area in front of the church.

I wonder if some land requirement dictated the shape, rather than just leaving a slightly wider rectangular area in front of the church, and having the Salvation Army’s ground extend all the way to boundary on the right, along Grace Street?

I found an older pic (possibly around 2006) which shows the corner of an earlier fence, located in line with the small lamppost that can be seen near the bonnet of the car parked to the left of this view.

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church West Bell Tower

Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church West Bell Tower


01/10/2018 - Posted by | Civilian, photography |

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