St John the Evangelist, Coatbridge

St John’s opened for worship on Lent 5, 2nd April 1843, and was consecrated on 4th May 1843 by Right Reverend Michael Russell, Bishop of Glasgow.

The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, contributed £200 towards the work of building St John’s. A number of alterations and adaptations were made to the building over the coming years to meet the growing and changing needs of the congregation. This included a much needed school room in October 1867 thanks, in the main, to the generosity of Colonel Buchanan.

In 1870 the gallery where the organ was situated was taken down, thus opening up the roof space. Although not realised at the time, this led to problems with the main roof beams, many of which had to be strengthened in 1937. However, this didn’t solve the problem as the gallery had supported the side walls and  in 1985 further work to make the roof and building safe was deemed necessary.

At a special meeting of the congregation in July 1991 it was decided that the building should be vacated as a place of worship. Until a decision could be made on the future of the St John’s congregation, St Patrick’s RC church kindly gave free use of their hall on Sundays. The building was deconsecrated on Ash Wednesday, 1992.  Many of the items in the building were disposed of to other churches but the font, pulpit and memorial tablets are in the care of the Summerlee Heritage Trust.

Several stained glass windows were gifted to St John the Evangelist. The first, in memory of Joseph Baker, installed in 1873 depicts the Angel appearing to St Joseph. Mrs Frances Carrick-Buchanan gifted 2 windows. The first, on the left as you entered the church depicted St John the Evangelist and the second, on the right, St Matthew. The west window was erected in 1879 in thanks to Colonel Buchanan for his many good deeds. The east window was placed in the church in October 1881 and depicts Christ’s ascension into heaven. This was a gift from Colonel Carrick-Buchanan. A further window, depicting Christ as the Light of the World was installed in memory of Lieutenant Colonel Graham Hay. Although no longer used as a church, the building still stands in St John’s Street. The glass is still in place albeit hidden and protected by screens.

The old records for St John’s are now held in the Archives of North Lanarkshire Council.