Christ Church Lochgilphead – History
An Episcopalian congregation was first gathered for worship at Lochgilphead in 1842. A number of the neighbouring gentry then subscribed to build a church, for which Alexander Campbell of Auchindarroch provided the land. It was designed by John Henderson, whose works include Trinity College, Glenalmond; Holy Trinity, Dean Bridge, Edinburgh; and Holy Trinity, Dunoon; and was consecrated in 1851. A transept providing an organ chamber and a vestry was added in 1888 in memory of Bishop Mackarness. Before the church was built, the congregation established Episcopalian schools in Lochgilphead and Ardrishaig, the one being maintained until 1864 and the latter till 1886. For some years there was a Sunday evening service in the Ardrishaig school.
The first incumbent was Bishop Ewing, who is buried in the churchyard. He was succeeded by his last curate, W Bell, and after him Bishop Mackarness officiated for two years. From 1927 to 1934, the charge was held jointly with that of St Columba, Kilmartin . Since 1947 the Rector of Christ Church has also been priest-in-chargeof St Columba’s, and, since 1983, of All Saints’, Inveraray.
The parsonage, Bishopton, was designed by Henderson in unity with the church, to which it is attached, and together they make a pleasing architectural group. The house was built at the expense of Neill Malcolm of Poltalloch and was Bishop Ewing’s home till his death. Bishop Mackarness enlarged it in accordance with an abortive plan to make it the permanent residence for the Bishop; thereafter it was often found inconveniently large and expensive. From 1923 to 1935 it was let, the Rectors from 1927 living at Lower Raslie, Poltalloch. Thereafter the house was divided, only part being occupied by the Rectors, and in 1970 the additions of 1876 were pulled down and the house was restored to approximately its original dimensions.
The church’s affairs are administered under a trust set up by Auchindarroch in 1851. The trustees choose the Rector.