The Congregation of Kingswells, originally United Free, was formed in 1857. It was the local people's reaction to the disruption of 1843. The members wished to be able to appoint their own Minister by ballot, and not have to depend upon the choice of a patron.
The Church building was erected in 1857-8, on a site provided by local advocate Dr Francis Edmond, who lived in Kingswells House. It was the first example in the north-east of polygonal ragwork, which is the fitting together of irregular stones, with raised mortaring to give a pleasing pattern. Members and friends of the Congregation gathered the stones, with which the Church is built, from the surrounding fields. The rafters and wood-lined ceiling, gifted by Dr Edmonds, are almost unique and lend an atmosphere of warmth to the building.The architect was John Hay, in partnership with his two brothers in Liverpool. Together they were responsible for designing many churches throughout Scotland and England in the mid-nineteenth century. The cost of construction was £681 (equivalent to £63,000 in 2008), with the architect’s fee comprising £36/10/-. In a letter in 1857, he refers to “working in the land of stones in a bold and vigorous manner with the dressings round the doors and windows ridged in hammer dressed in the usual way which gave great relief and effect.”
The stained glass windows, by Douglas Hamilton, depicting "The Crucifixion" and "The Resurrection" were installed in 1958 to commemorate the Church's centenary. In 2008, in celebration of the 150th anniversary, two new stained glass windows were installed, one on either side of the Church. They depict baptism and communion and were designed by Orcadian born artist Shona McInnes.
The new church halls to the rear of the Church were opened in 1998 and the church is a grade C listed building.
The Old Manse
The original manse, now a private residence, is situated at the north end of Fairley Road. It was built in 1859 and was occupied by successive Ministers until 1979, when it was sold and the new Manse erected in the Lang Stracht at East Huxterstone Farm.
To learn more about the history of Kingswells, visit the Kingswells.com website.