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Old-Parish-Church-wHELENSBURGH’S seafront Clock Tower was put up for sale last year by owners VisitScotland, who used it as a tourist information office, and it was bought recently by a local firm.

It will be the start of the fourth chapter in the life of what began as the Old Parish Church.

I ENJOYED listening to the story-tellers of the older generation relating the fascinating history of our surrounding countryside. So much history of the area had been handed down to them in the days before the great upheaval of World War Two, television and the electronic age.

It helped that many of the sites were available to visit, such as Glen Fruin which was once heavily populated. The large green mound in the glen was a familiar sight to us children.

St-Andrews-Kirk-wTHE HISTORY of what we today know as Helensburgh Parish Church began to emerge from the confused religious times of the 18th and early 19th centuries, during which religious affairs in Scotland were dominated by congregational splits.

In 1822 a group of people began to worship together in Helensburgh, using a variety of locations over the next few years. Two years later land was acquired at the corner of Colquhoun Square where the present church now stands, and the first church building was opened in the following year under the name of the Original Secession Church.

Park-Church-colour-wHELENSBURGH’S former Park Church — now the Buddhist Meditation Centre of Scotland — began a new era at the start of 2016 after being bought by Buddhists for use as a place of worship.

The sale of the property followed the union of Park Church — built in 1862, originally as a Free Church — with Helensburgh Parish Church.

St-Mahew s-Chapel-wA FRIEND once said to me: “Never underestimate the power of the individual." Since then I have taken her advice.

Not only the good but the great served the faith exemplified by the Roman Emperor Constantine 1 in 324 and Vladimir 1 of Rus in 988, both of whom brought Christianity to their peoples as did Saint Mahew here.

St-Columba-Church-wTHE roots of Helensburgh’s now closed St Columba Church sprang from a group of Dissenters who met fortnightly in the Baths Hotel for Sunday worship, often with a visiting minister.

The hotel was owned by a prominent member of the group, Mrs Margaret Bell, widow of Henry Bell, first Provost of Helensburgh and pioneer of steam navigation. On other Sundays the group travelled to Dumbarton.

Rev John Baird original refurb-wTHE NINE decades of the life of the Rev John Baird — father of TV inventor John Logie Baird — encompassed much of Helensburgh’s early religious history.

A signed engraving which is part of Argyll and Bute Council’s Libraries Collection shows a fine looking man of great character, which helps to explain his considerable following over many years.

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