History

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The earliest congregation of the Scottish Episcopal Church on the southside of Glasgow was St Ninian's in Pollokshields, established in 1870. In 1898, a mission congregation, St Margaret's, was established in Newlands, became an independent congregation in 1908, and an incumbency in 1911. St Margaret's rapidly became the largest Episcopal congregation in the rapidly expanding suburbia on the southern fringe of Glasgow and beyond, into Eastwood (now East Renfrewshire). Under the founding Rector, the Rev. Canon Edmund James Petrie (1908-1931), two missions were established, St Aidan's in Clarkston in 1923, and St Oswald's in King's Park in 1931.

Services for the new congregation initially took
place in the Clarkston Bowling Club (pictured left) on Eastwoodmains Road. The first dedicated church building
 was built during 1924, and opened for 
worship early in 1925. St Aidan's still occupies the same site, on the Mearns Road, and the original church building is now the hall, and still in regular use for church activities, as well as being available for hire.

The foundation stone of the original
church, now partially concealed by
later extensions.
Under Canon Petrie's oversight, the Curate in Charge, largely responsible for the establishment of the congregation in Clarkston was the Rev. John Walker Symon.                           The first church building, now the hall        

In 1932 Mr Symon was appointed Rector of St James's, Stonehaven. He was succeeded by the 
Rev. Edgar Dobson, who served until his appointment as Rector of St Andrew's, Callendar in 1937. The next Curate in Charge was the Rev. William Milne.

In 1938 St Aidan's was constituted an Independent Congregation, with the Rev. William Milne as Priest in Charge. Mr Milne was appointed Rector of St Mary's, Aberdeen, in 1942, and succeeded by the Rev. William. McLeod Girdwood.

                        The interior of the church building in 1926

In 1946 St Aidan's was constituted an Incumbency, and Mr Girdwood became the first Rector. Post-war expansion in the area necessitated the building of a larger church as soon as wartime restrictions were lifted. The foundation stone (below left) was laid in 1950, and the new building,
designed by 
Glasgow architects Noad & Wallace, opened for worship in 1951. The new church was built alongside the old, with the area between enclosed at one end by the Vestry. The garden developed in this courtyard was to become the place in which the ashes of deceased members could be interred.

As well as furnishings transferred from the old building, a war memorial was erected on the west wall, details of which can be found here. 
                       Below: the interior of the new church, 1956   

In 1954, Mr Girdwood left to be Rector of St Anne's, Coupar Angus. The following year the Rev. Harold Standbrook became Rector, remaining until 1959. Mr Standbrook was the first of several Rectors to have served in central and southern Africa. He is remembered for having introduced many of the liturgical traditions regarded as "high church" at the time, but which have been retained and are taken for granted today. This includes the celebration of the Family Eucharist most Sundays.

Below: the high altar in 1958
The choir and musical tradition developed during this period, with a pipe organ installed on a gallery at the west end, above what was then the Baptistery and is now the Lady Chapel.

When Mr Standbrook left to become Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee, he was succeeded as Rector by the Rev. Stephen Hodgson. In 1960 the present Rectory in Golf Road was acquired.

Mr Hodgson moved to Lancashire in 1963 to become Vicar of Astley Bridge. He was succeeded by the Rev. Hubert Crane, who had formerly served with the Universities' Mission to Central Africa in what is now Zambia.

Following Mr Crane's retirement, the Rev. Colin Harrison became Rector of St Aidan's in 1971. Mr Harrison had previously served with the Mission to Seafarers in Japan and in Glasgow. A major development of his ministry at St Aidan's was the establishment of the Clarkston and District Christian Aid Committee, in which he was instrumental. This remains a major commitment of the local churches, including St Aidan's. In 1974, Mr Harrison left to become Area Secretary of Christian Aid in Inner London.

In 1975 the Rev. David Goldie was instituted as Rector of St Aidan's. During his tenure there was
extensive development of new housing estates in the area, particularly in Newton Mearns, and Mr Goldie was noted for his pastoral zeal in drawing newcomers into the life of St Aidan's. In 1981 he was elected a Canon of St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow.

When the first women were ordained to the Diaconate in the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1986, one of the first three Deacons in the Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway was a member of St Aidan's, the Rev. Karan Brewin. She served with this congregation for a number of years, before joining the Order of the Holy Paraclete, a community of religious sisters with whom she worked in Swaziland and in England.

The community was shocked when Canon Goldie died in office in 1986. His successor was the Rev. Eric Culbertson, who moved on to become Area Secretary of the Bible Churchman's Missionary Society (now Crosslinks) in Northern Ireland.

In 1989 the Rev. Bryan Owen became Rector of St Aidan's. He had previous experience in educational work in Papua New Guinea, and maintained an active involvement in Christian witness to justice and peace, and the relief of suffering, in many parts of the world. He is also an accomplished and versatile writer, particularly of poetry. In 1993, Mr Owen left St Aidan's to become Warden of Scottish Churches House in Dunblane.

The Rev. David Norwood tssf came to St Aidan's as Priest in Charge in 1994, and was instituted as Rector in 1996. Like Mr Crane he had served with the church in Zambia, and also brought to the role experience in education and charitable work. Mr Norwood became Rector of Christ Church, Dalbeattie, in 1999.

The Rev. Paul Fletcher was appointed Rector of St Aidan's in 1999. He resigned in 2007.


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