Cleish Parish Church

Cleish Parish Church is situated in Perth and Kinross, Cleish lies 2 miles west of the M90 Motorway and 5 miles southwest of Kinross. Cleish is a small hamlet and the church lies at its centre. The postcode of Cleish Church is KY13 0LR.
We seek to be a church that reaches out in love and service to all in our Parish and beyond, a church which encourages and enables everyone to contribute and to participate in its Christian life and worship. We seek to know Christ and make him known. We aim to be inclusive of all, irrespective of age, race, ability, gender or sexual orientation. The church with seating for 250 people has beautiful stained glass windows and is much loved, by congregation and visitor alike, for its traditional, reverential and simple atmosphere.

Social Life @ Cleish

Cleish Church has long had a reputation for being a ‘sociable’ church. We aim to give everyone a warm welcome on first arrival at the church door and also strive to maintain that welcome by serving refreshments in the Young Room after morning worship each Sunday. This is a good time to meet up with others and enjoy some fellowship before heading home again.
On the first Sunday of each month we also have the Fair Trade stall which provides an opportunity to help others with our purchases.

Painted by John Tydeman of Cleish Church

History of Cleish Church
Excerpt from the 1861 Parochial Directory: “The Parish Church, which is at Cleish, was built in 1832. It is a neat building, in a beautiful situation, embosomed in wood at the base of the Cleish Hills.”

Visited by Sir Walter Scott and other members of the Blairadam Club, the church is the ‘Kirk of Cleish Bothan’ featured in the introduction to Scott’s novel The Abbott.
Pre 1560 – There has been a Church on the site since the 13th century. Originally under the Jurisdiction of Dunfermline Abbey, the Parish of Cleish was administered by a series of vicars appointed by the Abbey from 1218 AD onwards, until the Reformation in 1569, when the Church of Scotland broke away from the established Roman Catholic Church.
1567 – Mary Queen of Scots crossed the Parish of Cleish on her escape from Loch Leven Castle, before her flight to England.
1698 – The ambitious attempt at forming a Scottish Colony in Central America called the Darien Scheme ended in disaster mainly through disease, and almost bankrupted Scotland. The Cleish Minister, Mr James Thomas went out as chaplain, but died at sea.
1733 – William Adam bought Blairadam Estate and became along with the owner of Cleish Castle Estate, the Heritors of the Church, which meant they could select the Minister and were expected to repair the Church.
1775 – A new Church (the first with pews) was built on the site designed by the architect John Adam of the nearby Blairadam Estate

1832 – The new Church was burnt down, and the present one rebuilt in its place.
1836 – Mary Lundie Duncan, the wife of the Minister, wrote “Jesus Tender Shepherd hear me” in the Manse (see plaque in Chancel and gravestone in graveyard).
1897 – The Tower and Chancel were built (Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee)
1914-1918 – World War I. 14 men of the Parish were killed in action their names are recorded on the plaque on the tower.
1933 – The Beadle’s house was purchased by the Congregation from the Cleish Castle Estate.
1939-1945 – World War II. 1 man from the Parish was killed in action. His name is on the plaque beside the church door.
1960 – Electricity was installed in the Church.
1964 – Pilkington Jackson designed lamps were installed at the church gates donated by Mr Walter Scott-Davidson of Dowhill and switched on by Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Hume.
1966 – The vestry built. Dedicated by Very Rev R Selby Wright of the Canongate church in Edinburgh (The Radio Padre).
1989 – The chancel pews re-arranged and new cushions made.
1992 – The pipe organ, which came from St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, was installed.
2004 – A grand piano was installed at the church to enhance worship and concerts.
2013 – After many years of planning, work on an extension to the existing building commenced. The extension provides a ramp at the side of the church offering an easier access to the building, a much needed and easily accessible toilet and a meeting room which has been called the ‘Young Room’.
2015 – The old manse was sold and a new manse bought in the Crook of Devon.

The Churchyard

The churchyard contains the remains of a 9th century cross slab, an alms house and sanctuary crosses.
Also in the churchyard are the graves of Ebenezer Michie (d.1813), a friend of the poet Robert Burns, and the parish minister the Rev W. Wallace Duncan whose wife Mary Lundie Duncan penned the ‘Cleish Hymn’ -“Jesus, tender shepherd, hear me”.