Although Sellars won a limited competition set up to find a suitable design, he was requested to produce a revised design based on an entry by his noted peer William Leiper. Sellars completed the church, then known as Belmont & Hillhead Parish Church, in 1876. Leiper may have lost the competition, but his long-time collaborator, glazier Daniel Cottier, would later manufacture and install five of the stain glass windows between 1893 and 1907.
Beside the change of name, the church has grown and been altered over the decades. A porch and baptistery were fitted in 1926 to mark he Golden Jubilee of the Church, while in 1930 the original organ was refurbished and shifted down. By 1999, weather erosion spoiled the original paintwork, and exposed the artist stencilling underneath. A specialist painter was employed to reproduce the paint without spoiling the stencils, mimicking the original artist’s technique of cutting stencils and mixing colours.
WHERE? On a traffic island in the Gorbals district, near the start of Caledonia Road, where Cathcart Road and Laurieston Road diverge.
Standing tall, a proud survivor of the ages, Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s church rests on an odd traffic island that marks the former junction between Caledonia Rd and Cathcart Rd.
Thought to be Thomson’s first stab at designing a church, the building was mostly destroyed by a fire in 1965. Although now a Grade A-listed building, the church has lay derelict and abandoned for half a century, watching as the city around it has changed, but with a certain stubborn Scottish pride serving as a reminder of a grander past.
Across from the church on a small traffic island sits the box-like No.8 Corporation Weigh Office, which acted as a stop point for vehicles to be weighed, back in the days when they were not so frequent on the roads.