Kirk of Calder, Mid Calder | West Lothian
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 a 16th-century church located in Mid Calder, West Lothian. While it’s believed that a church has stood on the present site since 1150, the church we see today was built in 1541 and extended in 1863.
In 1560, the Parliament of Scotland agreed to reform the religion of the country. The Reverend of the Kirk of Calder at the time, John Spottiswood, was a staunch Reformist, and he, along with five other Reformist leaders (all, coincidently, named John), helped John Knox complete the Scots Confession of Faith (also called the Scots Confession of 1560).
John Knox even preached at the Kirk of Calder, and today there is a portrait of John Knox hanging inside the church.
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.
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.
The Kirk of Calder is open to the public on Sunday morning for the 10.30am church service, and in the afternoon from April to September, between 2pm-4pm. It’s free to visit!
Where to find the Kirk of Calder
Latitude / Longitude: 55.890106, -3.4824620