A congregation reunited at St Margaret’s Church

Volunteers are putting the final touches to the exhibition at St Margaret's
Volunteers are putting the final touches to the exhibition at St Margaret's

A project made up of hundreds of donations and more than 50 recorded interviews is finally coming together this week at St Margaret’s in Newlands.

The Episcopal church is putting the final touches to Story and Song: the Heritage of St Margaret’s, following the church’s 117 year history from its founding in a former bicycle shop on Kilmarnock Road to its current site, at the corner of Newlands Road.

The exhibition is the result of a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund to refurbish the church organ, which dates from 1924.

The cash boost also included a major oral history project — believed to be the first of its kind within the Scottish Episcopal Church — recording the memories of generations of congregations.

Heritage officer Mary Johnson-Symington explained: “The response was remarkable. Around 400 items of personal significance were donated to the archive, and over 1,300 minutes of oral histories recorded.

“It has been incredible to see the positive impact the project has had. Not only has it led to capturing some very rare history — especially from one lady, whose grandparents were founder members of St Margaret’s back in 1898 — it has also brought people back to the church who have long since moved away.

“We were inundated — without the help of our dedicated team of volunteers who conducted interviews and cataloguing, we couldn’t have completed the project and we’re extremely grateful.”

Visitors will be able to listen to stories, watch mini movies and admire church objects — including a ceremonial brass jug, the mallet used to lay the foundation stone in 1911 and a model of the original marble font.

Reverend Canon Dr Scott Robertson, rector of St Margaret’s, added: “The exhibition is only a fraction of the materials collected, but they offer a very tangible sense of what makes St Margaret’s what it is today.

“It’s a privilege just knowing that the overall collection will be stored at the Mitchell Library archives for future generations to research and enjoy.”

Story and Song: the Heritage of St Margaret’s is free and open to the public June 8-13, 10am-4pm. It will also appear at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum August 3-20.