St Mary's Church
In 1854 after the outbreak of the Crimea war Miss Jane Catherine Shaw Stewart of Ardgowan, who with Florence Nightingale organised the heroic band of women who nursed the wounded and sick in the war, decided to build and endow and Episcopal church in Port Glasgow, before she left for the Crimea. Her brother Sir Michael Shaw Stewart gave and acre of ground within the orchards at Newark Castle and St Mary's was built.The rectory was completely furnished and Miss Shaw Stewart also provided an endowment of £10,000.The church building was completed early 1856 and consecrated 25 March 1857.The chuurch had a stained glass representing the Three Kings and an icon of the Virgin and Child which was a gift from St John's, Greenock, when the church was consecrated - by the year 1932 it had 2100 members.
The church is remembered fondly by the Port' folk for many felt that it was a shame that it was removed to make way for a new roundabout and road improvements.
I have been informed that there were no records kept of the people who were interred at St Mary's and the registry of Births ,Deaths and Marriges would be the only way of finding out any details about them.
The hexagonal "whim" was built by George MacMillan and estate staff in their spare time. It incorporates materials from many sources - the slate floor from a local bowling green and the stone walls from St Mary's Church Port Glasgow. The rafters coming from a neighboring farm.
Rev Thomas Beaumont Walpole was a well liked member of the community and served them at St Marys for over 14 years. Born in England 1825 he was married to Julia who was born in Bengal East Indies but sadly she passed away at age of only 34 in Port Glasgow.
When Rev Walpole passed away aged only 47 on 8th January 1841 at the Robert Street manse a collection was taken up and donations were made from members of the church, friends and also from other local churches and organisations and a remembrance headstone was erected. This very handsome and unusual stone is photographed below.
This page last modified on Tuesday, November 23, 2010
In 2009 the
The United Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway noted in 2009 that there were about 60 people who attended the church each Sunday and the the members were older people between the ages of 50 and 70. The cost of running the church each year was estimated at this time to be £47,000 a year.
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