Innerleven East Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 37200 00250, map


Methilhaven Road

Also known as:

  • Wellesley parish Church, Methil (2012)


This church was constructed in 1939-41 by Robertson and Gordon Architects for the congregation of the old Innerleven Parish Church (see separate entry), which was demolished soon after this church opened. The church commands a prominent location close to main road into Methil.  It is surrounded by a public garden area with trees to the west. It closed for worship in June 2012 following a union with Methil Parish Church. On Sunday 17 June 2012 both congregations voted in favour of the Basis of Union. This was approved by Presbytery and the new congregation is to be called Wellesley Parish Church of Scotland, Methil. A Service of Union and Introduction was held on Thursday 28th June 2012.

J Dowling 2017

Description (exterior)

Innerleven East Church was built to a fairly striking design, with hints of traditonal architecture (such as areas of tooled sandstone walls) juxtaposed with a modern interpretation of ecclesiastical design, such as the angular slated spire atop a more traditional rectangular tower. Most of the other walls are harled and the large nave roof is slated.

The church is roughly cruciform in plan, but with a slightly assymetric design and single-storey flat-roofed extensions. The principal elevation is the north face, which is dominated by a tall tower to the centre, through which entry to the church is gained. The main body of the tower is harled with the slate-clad part-gabled spire sat on top. Single-storey bays with plain rectangular windows reach out from the tower tothe east and west. The east and west side elevations of the church feature a smaller tower or transept, which rises above the single-storey, flat-roofed projections on either side. The west tower or transept forms a porch through which entry to the church is usually made. The south (rear) elevation has a long single-storey bay that extends the full width of the building, again with simple rectangular windows. Above and towards the centre of the church rises the nave, which has rectangular windows at wallhead level, forming a modern clerestorey. The nave rises on all four sides of the church with a large, slated pyramidal roof, although the central section appears to be flat-roofed. A slightly later, flat-roofed hall was built onto the east side of the church, which meant the church lost its symmetry.

J Dowling 2017 

Description (interior)

The interior of Innerleven East Church is fairly traditional compared to the exterior. There is a large nave with side aisles and a raised sanctuary area at the north end. Most of the furnishings, particularly the wooden pews, appear to be 19th century in date and were likely re-used from the old church which this replaced. Some features, such as the First World War memorial and communion vessels are evidently earlier than the mid 20th century, when this church was built. Large clerestorey windows above the nave help flood the interior with light.

The sanctuary is raised by steps from the nave and the north tower of the church is used to emphasise and heighten the sanctuary. The oak communion table and minister and elders' chairs appear to be from the previous church, as does the marble and oak font. The modern-looking pulpit and side lecterns are likely original to this church, as is the small electric organ to the side. A marble foundation stone, dated 1940, is set into a side wall.

J Dowling 2017

People / Organisations:

Church of ScotlandDenomination1941-NOW
Robertson and Gordon Architect PracticeArchitect1939-1941


  • Church: Build/construction (1939 to 1941)
    The architects were Esme Gordon and James Robertson.
  • Tower: Build/construction (1941)
  • Hall: Build/construction (1963 uncertified)

Archive References:

Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: M026596
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 218674
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 7782Norman Myles
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7782