Kirk of Calder

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Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder | West Lothian

the kirk of calder in mid calder west lothian in scotland

Famous faces have worshipped at the Kirk of Calder…the composer Frédéric Chopin, Scottish chemist James ‘Paraffin’ Young, and the explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingston.

The Kirk of Calder is the main church in Mid Calder in Scotland, and it has a fascinating history.

The current church was built in 1541 and extended in 1863, but it’s believed a church has lived on the present site since 1150.

In 1560, the Reverend of the Kirk, John Spottiswood, a staunch Reformist, helped John Knox draw up the Scots Confession of Faith at the height of the Reformation. A portrait of Knox hangs inside the church.

The son of John Spottiswood, also John, became the Archbishop of St Andrews and went on to crown Charles I at Holyrood in 1633.

You can still see bullet holes on the outside walls of the church from when it came under attack from Royalist forces following the signing of the National Covenant in 1638, when Scottish Presbyterians protested against King Charles I’s enforced imposition of his Book of Common Prayer.

The area around Mid Calder was a hotbed of revolt against the King. Ministers were forced to hold illegal open-air services, known as Conventicles, in the hills around the village.

Other famous faces that have worshipped at the Kirk of Calder include the composer Frédéric Chopin, Scottish chemist James ‘Paraffin’ Young, and the explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingston.

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