Irvine History

The present congregation was started on 11th September 1960 as a Mission supervised by the then Rector of St Ninian’s Troon. Services and Sunday were help regularly in the Guide Hall, Kirkgate, Irvine, until the autumn of 1972 when the building was demolished in the new Town development. For the next twelve months the congregation travelled by private coach to St Ninian’s, Troon, but preserved their separate identity. The Rev David Goldie was then appointed full-time Mission Priest and a parsonage was purchased in Irvine by the Diocese.

Services re-started in Irvine in St Andrew’s Parish Church on 22nd September 1973 at the invitation of the Minister, Kirk Session and Board of St Andrew’s, the timing of the services being dovetailed in with those of the Church of Scotland. The congregation grew fairly steadily and a very good ecumenical relationship developed between both congregations, further cemented by a substantial donation towards a new organ in June 1975. meanwhile, following a Diocesan Policy Committee report, the Mission was linked with St Andrew’s Ardrossan in June 1975 with Mr Goldie becoming also Rector of the latter.

A year later, in November 1976, discussions began at local level on the possibilities of building an extension to St Andrew’s Irvine. They were temporarily slowed when the Church of Scotland minister moved to Motherwell, but relationships were well established that the Church of Scotland recruited a new Minister equally as keen. Contracts were placed in September 1980. The total building cost of £95,000 was met by the Diocese and Province, but a total of £18,000 was raised locally in a joint fund raising project to furbish. This extension was built to meet the needs of both congregations: it was not built to be an Episcopal wing. Both congregations co-ordinate the use of the whole of the Church premises.

To meet this unique situation a “Joint Council” consisting of the Scottish Episcopal Church Vestry and Church of Scotland Session and Board was introduced to administer the financial and other affairs affecting both congregations. The status of the Congregation was also changed from “Mission” to “Ecumenical Experiment”.

The extension was officially opened on 3rd October 1981, and added a coffee lounge, two kitchens, a meeting room and chapel, vestry rooms and toilets to the original premises which had consisted mainly of the large post-war church, two large halls and ancillary rooms.

In October 1983 a new parsonage was purchased in Irvine jointly with St Andrew’s Ardrossan to serve as a rectory to both charges.