The exhibition held in St Colmon Church on 29th October gave just a taste of the rich and varied history of the Church which began with a Christian cell established by St Colmon of Ella and surrounded by a hamlet in 555AD.
Since 1179 at least three Churches have existed on the site, built to the glory of God and serving the community through all life’s events in happy and sad times.
The exhibition celebrates the 1772 building which was recast in 1847 by David Bryce, a leading architect, to increase the capacity to seat 400.
To avoid disturbing weekly worship the new church was built around the old and then the old church was demolished inside the new.
One feature retained from the original building is that the centre pews fold out into tables for the celebration of Communion. Also, left in the basement is the coal fired boiler for the original heating system and a chimney in the roof can be seen in some old photographs.
In 1899 the McEwen family of Bardrochat commissioned the renowned architect Robert Lorimer to restore and extend the church by renovating the chancel with linenfold panelling and fine carvings. A full height extension, forming the current porch, was built on the east gable, and an external stair to the choir gallery. The only other example of Lorimer’s work in Ayrshire is at Bardrochat. Also donated by the McEwens were many of the outstanding Arts and Crafts stained glass windows and the fine Norman and Beard pipe organ.
The Church and Churchyard were listed as grade B in 1971, recognising they are especially interesting and of historical and architectural importance.
All are welcome to Church services and those who wish to visit at other times can make contact with the minister or through St Colmon Church’s website.