Our History

We care a lot about our history. Not because it in and of itself is special, but because as we look back we see how faithful God has been to us.

Hope Street Gaelic Chapel

Hope Street Gaelic Chapel, originally situated at the corner of Hope Street and Gordon Street, was founded in the centre of Glasgow in 1824. It was founded as a quoad sacra parish church (that is a church that didn’t represent a civil parish so it had ecclesiastical functions but no local government functions) to cater for the growing number of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders flooding into the city. In the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 the congregation, minister and building passed into the Free Church. In 1886 the congregation purchased Ewing Place Congregational Church on the corner of Waterloo Street and West Campbell Street and worshipped there until the building was destroyed by fire in 1957. From then until 1971 the congregation had no permanent home until it negotiated a lease of the St Vincent Street Church from Glasgow Corporation. At that point it became known as St Vincent Street Free Church of Scotland.

Glasgow City Free Church

The Milton congregation was officially sanctioned as a quoad sacra charge in 1836, its first minister from then until 1840 being the Rev. Dr John “Rabbi” Duncan. Its first building, situated in Milton Street, Cowcaddens, remained the property of the Church of Scotland following the Disruption, but the congregation joined the Free Church and a new building was erected on the corner of Rose Street and West Graham Street in 1850. The congregation joined with St Vincent Street Free Church in 1994, when the united congregation became known as St Vincent Street-Milton Free Church of Scotland. The Milton building, being unsafe and beyond reasonable repair, was demolished in the same year. In 2009, it was decided to change the name of the congregation to Glasgow City Free Church to reflect more accurately its vision and mission in the 21st century.

Partick Free Church

Partick Free Church first met in 1843 and built a church and halls in Anderson Street. Their first minister, Rev. Henry Anderson, pastored the congregation for 54 years. In 1900 when the majority of the Free Church joined with the United Presbyterian Church to form the United Free Church, the bulk of the congregation entered this union to become known as Partick United Free Church. A small group, unhappy with this course of events, decided to re-form a Free Church congregation. Within a few years it had purchased land at 29 Crow Road and a new church opened there in 1910. The congregation grew rapidly and by the 1930s had a membership of 190. The congregation was severely affected by a split in 2000 when a large proportion of the congregation adhered to the Free Church (continuing) forcing those wishing to remain in the Free Church to leave to find an alternative place of worship. In 2013 those loyal to the Free Church were able to return to the property which they set about modernising to provide the comfortable facilities now enjoyed.

Crow Road Free Church

With the condition of the St Vincent Street building gradually degenerating and increasingly expensive to maintain, the leadership was active in the new millennium in looking for alternative premises in the city centre. These proved to be unsuccessful and when an invitation from Partick Free Church to share their premises was received, the congregation responded positively and started worshipping there in October 2021. The Partick congregation was small and without a minister; we had a minister and a large congregation looking for a functional building. Initially worshipping together as separate congregations, it soon became clear that a union would be the best solution and this was authorised by the General Assembly in 2023 with the name Crow Road Free Church agreed by the Commission of Assembly in October that year.

The Free Church of Scotland

The Free Church of Scotland dates from the year 1843 when, in what is known as the Disruption, over 400 Evangelical ministers left the Church of Scotland over the issue of the interference of the state in the affairs of the church. The Evangelical Party wished to be free of such political control and so called the new church, the Church of Scotland, Free. The Free Church of Scotland, like the Church of Scotland, was from the start, and continues to be, a Presbyterian denomination where each congregation is governed by a Kirk Session of elected elders. It holds the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible and inspired Word of God and the supreme rule of faith and life. Its chief subordinate standard is the Westminster Confession of Faith (which you can read on our Resources page).
Crow Road Free Church is a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland, and is a Scottish Charity, SC009980, regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)