Church History

Church History

1876: The church’s roots grew from humble beginnings when ‘kitchen gospel meetings’ were held in various homes in the town.
1877: gospel meetings’ moved from homes to shop premises located in Stonefield Road
1878: The faith and dedication was such that a timber church was erected on this site.
The first Interim Moderator and Evangelist was appointed and name was Livingstone Memorial United Presbyterian Church was adopted
1878: Congregation status was raised,
1880: Rev. Robert Mackenzie, M.A. was ordinated as minister.
Steps taken to erect permanent building and architects appointed
1881: Presentation of Church organ
1882: Church building as we know it today was opened. The service was conducted by
Rev. Professor Blaikie, author of The personal Life of Livingstone.
1884: Funds amounting to £1,000 were raised through a bazaar held in Glasgow.
1886: A clock and bell were placed in the spire
1890: A further bazaar held in Glasgow which raised another £1,000.
1894: Church hall constructed and opened
1900: Union of Churches and the change of name to Livingstone Memorial United Free Church.
1901: Opening of Manse fund.
Two Communion Cups presented.
Erection of a memorial at the entrance of the church in memory of one who died in Natal (South African War).
1903: Presentation of brass reading stand in memory of Miss Mary Ferguson
1905: Presentation of the Communion table
1907: Presentation of a Pipe Organ.
1913: Statue of David Livingstone, situated in a recess at the front of the Church was unveiled by Mrs Livingstone Wilson, the daughter of David Livingstone
1914: Brass Flower vases presented
1920: On either side of the pulpit a War memorial was placed in commemoration of the 25 church members killed in the First World War
1923: Communion Chair presented in memory of Mrs Hugh, snr and Mrs Thos. A. Hugh
1927: Jubilee of congregation.
Church re-decorated & electric light installed
1928: Livingstone Museum Bookcase presented by Sir William MacKenzie, K.C.B
(brother of Rev Thom. A. Hugh).
Memorial Tablet
1929: Manse constructed

The church has a proud heritage, as its existence is due to the strong faith and perseverance found in many mining communities to remember a local son, David Livingstone, the Missionary and continue to further God’s work.

The Church buildings are in an ideal location in relation to population and amenities within Blantyre. The church is a traditional sandstone building with many original features, in particular the wonderful wooden arched ceiling, which depicts every African flower and the remarkable oil paintings on the inside walls of the church, reminders of why the church was built and the work carried out in God’s name so many years ago.

It has a seating capacity of 400 and leads through to the Session house, vestry, small and large halls, kitchen and other amenities. There is a Scout hall, between the church and the manse of brick construction with separate access, which is used by the church at various times during the year.

A well stocked library, housed in the small hall, is widely used by the congregation, who make a small donation towards church funds.

The Manse accessed by a gravel driveway is situated behind the church buildings and was built in 1929. The Presbytery commended the former minister and session on the condition of the manse, which is in an excellent state of repair. The entrance hall on the ground floor leads to 2 public rooms, study, kitchen, utility room, toilet and storage rooms. The upper floor houses 2 double and 3 single bedrooms, bathroom with good storage areas and garden to the rear of the house.