Twechar's Faiths


There is a Church of Scotland congregation, Twechar Parish Church, which shares a minister with Banton. The Roman Catholic villagers are served by St. John of the Cross Chapel in Twechar. There is also a Church of the Nazarene, which was built by Twecharites.


“My mammy, as a wee girl, lived in Twechar and went to the Salvation Army, which was in the hall in the Rows. The Salvation Army was a big part of life in Twechar. My daddy's uncle, Walter, had come to Twechar from Hamilton; my Uncle Walter lived in McDonald Crescent and went to the Salvation Army. My dad was orphaned when he was 12 and Uncle Walter took all of my dad's family in and brought them up together. There was 16 of them lived in four bedrooms. My Uncle Walter had heard preaching that was different from the Salvation Army and thought that we should have a Church of the Nazarene in Twechar. He then went to the Whitelaw family - the estate owners. There was a piece of land next to The Bully, it was all rock, a quarry, so Uncle Walter asked the Whitelaw estate if he could buy that land to build a church on and they gave him it for a nominal fee of one shilling a year. At the Church's 50th Anniversary, the Whitelaw family waived the shilling a year rent. My dad said that they would all work at the pit doing their shifts and then come up, and they would work setting explosives and blasting and clearing (the land), and blast and clearing until they had the space to build the church. They were allowed to use materials from the pit to build the church using their own skills and labour. Nothing was stolen. When they built the church there wasn't a manse, which there is now, next door, but then there was a back hall and a toilet and a kitchen and that's where the minister, Mr Sydney Martin and his wife lived until they built the manse. It was a busy church, they had a brass band. They also had a male voice choir. I just remember it being a very busy church.”
Emily Bamford

“I was 16 and working in Lyndsay Maid in Kilsyth, making clothes. I knew there was something wrong, I was just being sick all the time and there was this lassie, who came from Twechar, who worked there at the time, Mary Batchelor (now Mary Clive and living in Kirkintilloch), and she came into the toilet and asked me what was the matter, etc. She made me an appointment at the doctors and she took me there. I was too feart to tell my mum and Mary went with me and it turned out, aye I was pregnant. That night I had to come home and tell my mum that I was pregnant and I was absolutely wetting myself. When I did tell her, she was amazing, she just said, “there is worst things than a wee wean.” With us being Catholic there was no question of me having an abortion or anything like that, that just wasn't on the cards. The only problem was, though it wasn't a problem for us anyway, Jim was a Protestant and I was Catholic and in those days, by the time I had reached the teenage years, that there was problems with that. As a wean, I had never seen it but as I got older, I seen it. So I had to phone Jim and tell him over the phone that I was pregnant and he nearly died. He had to tell his mam that night and I had to tell mine. He was18. I told my mum and that was fine and I always remember my auld Kirky granny being there and she just shook her head. I was worried about telling my daddy, so my mum told him and I sat out on the stairs and I thought he would go mental but he just shook his head and said, “ah well, we'll just have to get on with it.”
Sharon Young

“Jim had to tell his mammy which was a different kettle of fish, she didn't approve of us because of the Catholic/Protestant thing. I think she would have preferred if Jim had married, as she put it, “someone of his own kind,” because that was how they talked in those days. It ended up, it was fine, we got married in Twechar Church because he went to church and I went to chapel but in those days, you always went the man's way. I still went to chapel after it. We got married in April and I had David in August, he's now 38. I have another son Stuart, he's 33. My mum and dad never bothered what Jim was or who he was, or what colour he was. That was just the way we were all brought up. But it was obviously an issue for Mrs Young. Mr Young was brilliant – Auld Sam. Jim used to say that, “I shouted shite and he ran for a shovel”. He thought I was the best thing since sliced bread. Sometimes she didn't like that either and would put a wee spanner in the works, but nobody bothered. When it all came out that I was pregnant, it was a case of “that will never last,” because of the Catholic/Protestant thing.  It was openly said, “don't worry about it, it'll never last,” and I've been with him since I was 13, so that's 42 years now.”
Sharon Young