The Park Church has had a Christian presence within the Giffnock area for over 75 years and although it is younger than her two older sisters, Orchardhill Church and Giffnock South, its impact has been no less significant. It all began with the building of the new housing estate of Orchard Park just before the outbreak of war in 1939. The proposition of a new Church Extension Charge in the Orchard Park Area was proposed through the Very Rev. Dr. John White of the Barony Church in Glasgow who had a deep interest in Church Extension projects. Following that decision through saw the appointment of Orchard Park Church’s First parish minister, Rev David H. McMahon when he was inducted on the 26th April 1940.
The establishment of a congregation and minister did not take long to put into effect but the provision of their won suite of buildings that took a wee bit longer. In the interim the congregation met for Worship in Giffnock Courthouse which then was attached to Giffnock Police Station in Braidholm Road. It still is a Police Station and Courthouse to this day.
For the next 2 years the small but enthusiastic congregation continued to meet for worship in this unorthodox setting until the construction of the Hall/Church at the present site in Ravenscliffe drive. The Building consisted of a Large Hall, Vestry and Small Kitchen. It served a dual function for the meeting for Worship on Sunday mornings and their use by the congregation and various organisations throughout the week. Wedding parties may well remember the physical difficulties in signing the Register, for example. This by today’s standards had limited accommodation but would effectively be the first of three phases of Building. In the meantime the congregation became very used to and adept at moving the church’s furnishings around in order to adapt to every occasion.
The Rev David McMahon eventually received a call to a new charge and in 1945 the Rev Theodore M.G. Lamb was inducted and over the next 10 years oversaw the next phase of building when the Church Halls were extended to their current size now. In 1956 the Rev R.T. Hassal came to be the minister at what was then Orchard Park Church. Of the 6 ministers appointed to serve as Parish minister His woud be the shortest term of office lasting only 3 years.
Helpful though the extended accommodation had been, it became clear that this was not the final solution and so with the start of the 1960’s there also began a new ministry under the leadership of the Rev. David Norwood. The decision was to retain the old Church using it as Hall accommodation whilst a new Orchard Park Church Building would be built alongside the existing Church halls. With the Rev Norwood’s guidance, the congregation set about the task of raising the capitol for this new build project. Their efforts were given further encouragement when with the granting of permission for the work to project to proceed, it was accompanied by the promise of financial Assistance from Glasgow Presbytery.
In the October of 1974 Rev Mike Gibson was Ordained and Inducted into what would be his first and only Charge. He would faithfully serve the congregation fulfilling his term of office at the Park Church as its longest serving Minister, serving for a period of some 26 years before retiring and moving to Yorkshire with his family.
In the August of 2001 , Glasgow Presbytery inducted the Rev Calum D. Macdonald to the Park Church where he remains to date as its Parish Minister. Serving as Parish Minister previously in Saltcoats in North Ayrshire for 8 years he has been the minister here in Giffnock these past 17 years. The terms of these 6 ministries has spanned a period of over 75 years and the congregation over that time led by its ministers have remained faithful in their service to God and the community in which they live.
That’s the story so far , but the story continues and we look forward to the blessing of God in the future and the challenges of sharing our faith and demonstrating faith in action to all around the Giffnock Area and beyond - where all are welcome to share in the future that awaits.