The proposed union of five churches became four with the closure after 170 years of Innellan Church
Almost 170 years ago, in 1853, a small Chapel of Ease was founded in Innellan by the Rev. Dr McCulloch of the West Parish, Greenock. Its first minister was the Rev. Robert S. Horn. In the winter of 1866, because church membership was at the time on the increase, the first extension to the church was carried out.
In 1868, the renowned Dr. George Matheson became minister. Within two or three years, a manse was
erected and, shortly after, in 1873, the parish of Innellan split from that of Dunoon and the church thus became Innellan’s Parish Church with a school located in the crypt.
Even with those changes in 1873, before Dr Matheson left for Edinburgh, the congregation had resolved on a further scheme of expansion.
Some of the monies required for this were provided through grants and gifts, but the bulk of the capital was raised by the congregation themselves. Enthusiastic fund-raising began with a 3-day Bazaar, and
generous donations were received from members of the congregation. Despite rising costs, the whole project was completed in two years to produce “one of the most commodious and elegant churches on the
coast”. In due course the spire was completed and a bell was presented.
More Modern Times
At the union of the churches in 1929, the Church took the name of its distinguished preacher, George Matheson, and became The Matheson Church. In 1973, the West Church united with The Matheson to become once again Innellan Church.
In 2003, the new charge of South East Cowal was formed, linking the three churches of Innellan, Toward (with Inverchaolain) and the High Kirk, Dunoon.
The final change has come in the form of the closure of Innellan Church with the church and grounds placed on the market for sale.