Church to hold exhibition ahead of 800th anniversary

St Mary's church
St Mary's church

A SPECIAL exhibition is to be held later this month to help launch the 800th anniversary celebrations of St Mary’s and Old Parish Church.

The first church building, in Norman style, was erected in 1214 and consecrated in memory of St Mary by Adam, Bishop of Caithness.

In 1763 it was rebuilt in the T-shaped cross that can be seen today. The clock tower, however, is the only part of that building which survived a fire in 1880, and the present church building, a replica of the one that was burned down, was built in 1883.

Among those buried in the churchyard is Bailie John Hardie, who died in 1800 and who is credited with the birth of the knitting industry in Hawick, introducing the first stocking frame in the town in 1771.

St Mary’s united with Hawick Old Parish Church in 1989 and is now affectionately known as ‘St Mary’s and Old’.

These days it has a vibrant congregation reaching out to all ages in the community through its Junior Church, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, Guild and various interest groups.

Session Clerk Ian Stirling, who has been a member of the church since attending Sunday School in 1937, said: “We’re splitting the kirk up into various sections, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade, crafts club and Sunday club.

“And we’re going to put up as many photos as we can of weddings that have taken place in St Mary’s.”

The exhibition will open on Saturday, September 21, between 10am and 3pm and on Sunday from noon to 3pm.