The Old Kirk has stood on its present site overlooking the Forth for over a century, but our history goes as far back as the 17th century and our original home can still be found in the beautiful grounds of nearby Kinneil House. More information about our history can be found here.
The Old Kirk is a prominent landmark in the town and was designed by Shiels and Thomson of Edinburgh with a significant contribution from the Duke of Hamilton. To commemorate this, the 175ft church tower (which makes us the tallest building in Bo’ness) includes a carving of the Hamilton coat of arms alongside the Burning Bush symbol of the Church of Scotland. Since its opening in 1888, our church has been adapted throughout the years to cater both the needs of changing worship and the town. However, it still retains its Normandy influenced details and stunning oak timber roof.
Our church is blessed with a beautiful sanctuary which seats 950 people with seating divided into the main floor area and 3 gallery’s: the miners gallery, the seaman’s gallery and the lairds loft. As their names suggest, these commemorate the groups which contributed greatly to the building of the Old Kirk.
Dominated by the stunning stained glass window depicting the ascension, the interior features various stained glass windows by William Meikle and Sons (1902) and William Wilson (1938) including our remembrance windows which commemorate the Battle of Britain. The pilot depicted is the late John Oliver of Bo’ness who served with the Special Operations Executive and whose multiple acts of bravery include surviving capture by Nazi forces in February 1945. The picture below is of John and the window which serves as a testimony of the bravery of those who fought for their country with the RAF.
The majority of our services are led via our 2 large retractable video screens located on either side of the chancel. Monitors are also positioned adjacent to ensure that everyone can view our presentations which are powered via Mediashout presentation software. Our fully integrated multimedia system is controlled at our media desk located at the rear of the church and has multiple uses including music, videos and lyric projection for organ/clavinova led services and for use in concerts.
Major refurbishment during the 1990s added to our accommodation and we have excellent facilities for meetings and functions which are used by a variety of groups in the Bo’ness area. These are fully separate from our sanctuary and include a chapel and meeting room at opposite ends of our chancel which have integrated sound systems to allow multiple uses. A multimedia system and video screen is also installed in the church hall (our largest room) which allows for various events to be held there including training sessions, kidZone movie nights and our popular Holiday Club (a pop up stage is also available for use). Toilets are located at the back of the hall with a wet room connected and multiple storage spaces available.
Our fully refurbished modern kitchen is linked to the hall via a closable serving window and is adjacent to our vestry which has a glass roof giving a unique view of our ascension window. In addition, our session house has a small kitchen attached and with toilet/baby changing facilities adjacent is perfectly suited for smaller groups. Access to our facilities, and to the church itself when the sanctuary is not being used, is made via our reception area and church office located on church brae at the east of our building. Our Car Park has disabled and parent parking available with a dedicated area for our minibus and our building is fully wheelchair accessible at all main access points.
If you would be interested in using any of our facilities then please contact us for more information and to arrange a tour.
Community events held at the Old Kirk include:
- Remembrance Day commemorations
- National Youth Choir of Scotland Concerts
- Salvation Army Band Concerts
- Unison Kinneil Band Concerts
- Bo’ness Academy Concerts
- Bo’ness Children’s Fair events