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John Knox Church
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John Knox Church

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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John Knox Church
Historic Photographs
John Knox Church
An illustration looking south along Mounthooly, with John Knox Church in the centre, from near the bridge opposite Canal Street. The bridge was initially over the Aberdeenshire Canal and later the Great North of Scotland railway.

This drawing shows the old John Knox Church. It was built as an extension church in the parish of Greyfriars. Building commenced in 1833 and finished in 1835.

Demolition of the old church and construction of its replacement began in 1910. A larger building was needed to accommodate an expanding congregation. Alexander Gammie, in his Churches of Aberdeen (1909), credits the increase in attendance to the popularity of Rev. George A. Johnston, who served as the church's minister from 27th September 1905 to 1909.

At the rear of the original church there was a boys and girls school that can be seen on the Ordnance Survey map from 1869 (Aberdeenshire LXXV.11). The 1902 OS map suggests this school was replaced by the congregation's church hall, finished in October 1885. The 1926 map indicates the hall was in turn demolished during construction of the new church.

Summarizing the progress of the church up to 1909, Gammie writes:

"The congregation of John Knox is composed almost entirely of the working classes, and the church is situated in what is practically an east-end district. Yet it has not been lacking in the enterprise and ability to undertake and complete important schemes solely by its own efforts. The erection of a church hall, the introduction of a pipe organ, and the erection of a handsome new oak pulpit are instances of what it has accomplished in this respect."

The soon to be undertaken construction of the new church building would perhaps remain the greatest accomplishment in the congregation's history. In 1997 John Knox Church united with Greyfriars Church on Broad Street, ceasing to be a seperate congregation. The 1910 church building was later converted for residential use.

The kirk session records of the church are held by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives.
Aberdeen Local Studies
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