The Church lies in the Parish of Inverchaolain & Toward
Toward Church Building
The parish of Inverchaolain & Toward formerly consisted of two church buildings located in the country of Argyll in the south west highlands of Scotland. If you include the church hall, which was once a church belonging to the United Free Church of Scotland in Tayvallich prior to being disassembled and moved to Toward.
Before the construction of the present Church, there was a Chapel of St. Mary on the site, complete with burial ground. The present church, erected in 1839, at a cost of £412, was originally in the Parish of Dunoon and Kilmun. It replaced the Toward ‘mission station’ mentioned in Parish records. In those days the average attendance was 180. Finance for the building came principally from Alexander Lamont of Knockdow, a writer to the Signet in Edinburgh, and Kirkman Finlay of Castle Toward, MP for Glasgow from 1812-18 and Lord Provost of the City. Pre 1896, the congregation was led in its singing by a Precentor, as was the custom. In May of that year, the committee of management decided to dispense with the services of the Precentor and installed a harmonium. It was however a further six years before funds were raised for the purchase of a manse.
More Modern Times
In August 1926, Presbytery decided that Toward Church should unite with Inverchaolain Church and that the Rev. J. Scoular Thomson, Minister of that church, should become the Minister of the united charge.
It wasn’t until March 1935 that plans were submitted for the provision of a chancel, vestry and boiler house. The cost of this work was to be £1,400 and, during the alterations, the plaster was removed from the walls, and a timber ceiling and new floor were fitted. The wood for this came from Sir Norman
Lamont’s estates in Trinidad.
At the same time a stone font was gifted by Mrs Andrew Coats of Castle Toward, who also paid for a large proportion of the works. In the August of that year, when these works were completed, a Service of Dedication was held incorporating the dedication of the two stained glass windows which adorn the south gable.
For more interesting details and additional history of the Parish of Inverchaolain and Toward please visit Parish of Inverchaolain and Toward