Uddingston Old Parish came into being in 1982 after the union of Trinity Parish Church with Chalmers Church in 1982. However, in their separate charges the roots of Uddingston Old have been in place since 1871 and 1874 respectively.
Chalmers Church had its beginnings in a Bothwell Free Church Session meeting held on October 12th, 1874.
The Rev. Andrew Doak and his Session considered a proposal to erect a Free Church in Uddingston. They adopted the proposal and appointed a committee to raise the necessary funds.
Ultimately the total cost of the church was £3,300, a burden which was cleared in a few years.
It was intended at first to have a church with a steeple and a manse. The original plans, however, were modified when building difficulties arose from the nature of the site.
The church building being near completion, the Free Church Assembly at Edinburgh on 30th May, 1876, granted formal sanction to call a minister.
The opening of the church took place on Sunday 1st July, 1877, under the administration of the Rev. Andrew Doak, Moderator, and four other ministers.
The first minister was the Rev. Ivie M. McLachlan, who was inducted on 13th December, 1877.
Side galleries were erected in 1886-87.
A Manse was bought in 1906.
In 1902 the Lewis Pipe Organ was installed, following a 2:1 vote by the congregation.
In 1937 a new pulpit was installed and the organ moved from directly beneath the pulpit so that the organist could have a view of the Choir and congregation and, in emergency, a peep at the pulpit!
Trinity Parish Church
Uddingston Trinity Parish Church (Quoad Sacra) had its beginnings in a meeting held in the Old Uddingston School Room on July 19th, 1871.
Given the only church available to worshippers was the Parish Church of Bothwell, which was so full there were no seats even for its own members, the minister, the Rev. John Pagan gave his encouragement to the meeting on July 19th.
At that meeting a resolution was made to erect a church in Uddingston in connection with the Church of Scotland, seating about 1,000 and costing between £2,000 and £3,000.
Building was started under the architect Mr. Halkett. Progress was smooth, except that the tower was found ‘Not to be according to contract,’ resulting in it being taken down and rebuilt.
The foundation stone was laid by Lady Douglas on 5th September 1872, under the pulpit.
The formal opening of the church took place on Sunday 8th March, 1874, when three services were held, conducted by the Rev. Dr. Smith of North Leith, Dr. John Pagan of Bothwell and the Rev. F.L. Robertson of St. Andrew’s Glasgow.
This was reported in the Hamilton Advertiser of March 14th, 1874:
“THE NEW CHURCH – The Rev. John McIntosh, Lowick, has accepted the appointment to the new church here in connection with the Church of Scotland. His appointment has given great satisfaction in the district. The steps taken in connection with this church have been so very successful – the sum of nearly Â£4,000 having been raised in little more than two years – that the congregation propose to effect its immediate endowment. The collection at the opening of the church on Sunday amounted to £185.”
The first minister was the Rev. John McIntosh, for whom a manse was built in 1877. Under his ministry, the church became overcrowded and in October 1885 the congregation decided to enlarge it by the addition of the two transepts and apse.
In 1874 a bell was presented to the church by Mr. Thomas of Croftbank, and was rung for the first time in September of that year.
In 1878 a harmonicum was introduced to lead the praise (instead of a precentor) and in 1885 the present pipe organ was installed.
In 1919 a font was presented by Mr. Shaw of Earlston.
In 1929, on the Union of the Church of Scotland with the United Free Church, the name of the congregation was changed to Trinity Parish Church, Uddingston.
The large hall was built in 1936.