Barclay Viewforth Church
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|Barclay Viewforth Church|
|Denomination||Church of Scotland|
|Website||Barclay Viewforth Church|
|Minister(s)||Rev Samuel A.R. Torrens|
Barclay Viewforth Church is a parish church of the Church of Scotland in the Presbytery of Edinburgh. Located at the border between the Bruntsfield and Tollcross areas of the city at the junction of Barclay Place and Wright's Houses, it was built by Frederick Thomas Pilkington (1832–98) – starting in 1862 and completed in 1864 – from a bequest left by Mary Barclay for the building of a church for the Free Church of Scotland. The first minister of the congregation was Rev. James Hood Wilson, DD, the first service of public worship being held on 23 December 1864.
The church remained part of the Free Church of Scotland until 1900 when the majority of the Free Church and the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland united to form the United Free Church of Scotland, and subsequently joined the Church of Scotland in 1929 when the majority of the United Free Church joined the Church of Scotland.
Barclay Church united with Bruntsfield Church (Leamington Terrace) in 1965. The Bruntsfield Church building is now used by an independent church and is known as Bruntsfield Evangelical Church. The church was renamed as "Barclay-Bruntsfield Church" until 1980 when it reverted to its original name after united with Chalmers-Lauriston Church (59-61 Lauriston Place). Chalmers-Lauriston Church was purchased by the City of Edinburgh Council and sold to the Arab Social League for use as a cultural centre, but has remained derelict. Barclay united with Viewforth Church in 2009. Other churches which have been subsumed into the parish of Barclay Viewforth through earlier unions include West Port Church. It is currently in a Parish Grouping with St Catherine's-Argyle Parish Church in Marchmont.
The Church, along with the Halls and Church Officer's House at the rear, are category A listed by Historic Scotland. The spire, which at 250 feet (76 m) high is a landmark in the city skyline, is one of the tallest church spires in Edinburgh. Internally, the church has seating on the ground floor with two tiers of galleries in the heart shaped auditorium, which originally had seating for 1,200. The organ was installed in the late nineteenth century. The marble pulpit retains its prominent location under the organ pipes with a central view over the auditorium.
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