West Baptist Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 08740 87670, map


Address

Chalmers street
Dunfermline
Fife
KY12 8AX
Scotland

Introduction

This church was built in 1898 by Andrew Scobie.  The congregation was formed when they split from the Viewfield Baptist Church (site no. 8077).  The church is on a street corner and is set directly on the pavement with no boundaries.  It is almost directly opposite the United Free Church (site no. 6199).  To the south of the building are modern flats, and to the rear (west elevation) there is a modern hall.


Description (exterior)

The church is built of coursed sandstone with ashlar dressings and it has a slate roof.

There are three bays in the south (principal) elevation, in the central one of which there is a pointed arched painted two leaf timber door in a moulded ashlar surround which has nookshafts. Above the door a string course, broken by the angular hoodmould,  extends outwards to the edges of the outer bays.   Above this there is a pair of two-light pointed arch windows with ashlar margins, which have coloured glass borders;   rose windows are at the apex. A continuous hoodmould extends over the two windows.   Above a band course in the gable head are three pointed arched louvered openings of which the central one is taller.

The outer bays are symmetrical and separately roofed;  in the lower stage of each there is a three paned shouldered window and in the upper stage there is a four paned pointed arched window, all of which have coloured glass borders.  The base course on this face has holes drilled into it to release dampness from the building.

The south rubble built elevation is without feature. At the eastern end of the face there is an indication of an old roofline.

The lower section of the west face is obscured by the church hall, added later.   In the middle of the wall there are two multi-pane lancets.   A modern metal vent in front of the southernmost window extends upwards from the roof of the hall.   There is a gabled roofline beside the northern window, suggesting that there was originally another structure joined to the back of the church building. On the apex of the gable there is a chimney stack,


Like the south wall, the north wall has three bays, divided in two horizontally by a string course which extends around from the east elevation.   There are six shouldered windows in the lower stage (three in the nave, one in the outer eastern bay and two in the western gabled bay).   Above these there are pointed arch windows in the upper stage in the central and eastern bay, and in the upper stage of the gabled western bay there are three multi-paned lancets the central one of which is taller.    Above a band course in the gable head of the western bay are three pointed arched blank openings, the central one of which is also taller.

A late twentieth century flat roofed harled hall is at the back (west) of the church.


Description (interior)

The main entrance to the church is in the centre of the east wall.    From this a vestibule leads by two doors into the nave beneath a gallery which is supported by narrow painted pillars with decorative capitals.    The interior is rectangular with a pitched roof.    There are three blocks of light painted pews separated by north and south aisles. 

Above panelling on the lower part of the nave walls the plaster is painted light, with the exception of the west wall in the sanctuary, which is painted in a darker colour, which has the effect of emphasising the lightness of the pews, the pulpit and organ casing.

The sanctuary is at the west end.    It is dominated by the large organ, the pipes of which occupy the upper part of the west wall, with the console incorporated into a framework of wooden panelling.    This is painted white, like the pews, and like the pulpit which is front of the rear panelling.    It has balustraded stairs on either side.   In front of it stand minister's and elders' chairs and a wooden communion table in what appears to be light oak.    Doors in the wall on either side of the rear panelling lead to the western extension.    

Daylight comes mainly from the upper and lower windows on the north wall, all of which are of clear glass.    The upper ones have arched tops, the lower are basically rectangular but with gently curved tops.   Two poiinted aech windows with plate tracery, also of clear glass, are a feature of the east wall, but are partly obscured from the interior view by the gallery.

There are several decorative wall hangings.


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
Mr Andrew ScobieArchitect1898
BaptistDenomination1899-NOW

Events:

  • Church: Founded (1897)
    The congregation was formed when they split from the Viewfield Baptist Church (site no. 8077).
  • Church: Build/construction (1898 to 1899)
  • Hall: Build/construction (1950A uncertified)
    Late twentieth century construction.
  • Church: Removal (1982)
    The spire was removed after it was damaged in a gale.

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: MO19953
Dunfermline Press Archives - Online databaseReference: 1859 - 1907
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 8393

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 187