Church of Scotland
Fisherton and Kirkoswald Parish Churches
The Parishes: The rural parishes of Kirkoswald and Fisherton in South Ayrshire extend from 1.5 miles north of the seaside town of Girvan to the southern boundary of the town of Ayr. The A77 runs the length of the Parish of Kirkoswald, with access south to Stranraer and the ferry terminals to Northern Ireland. The A719 coastal route runs through the Parish of Fisherton.
Both routes allow easy access north to Ayr, Glasgow Prestwick Airport and the City of Glasgow. There are regular transport links to these destinations.
The area’s natural beauty, with a mixture of coastline, open countryside, historic buildings and famous golf courses, make it a popular holiday destination as well as a fine place to live. The population of the P\arishes is concentrated mostly in Kirkoswald, Maidens and Turnberry, Dunure and Fisherton.
Kirkoswald: Where the church, manse and hall are situated in a village of considerable historic interest due to its connections with Robert the Bruce, John Knox, Robert Adam, Robert Burns and President Eisenhower. The village dates back to AD634 when King Oswald, having won a battle here, named the village in thanks to God. Souter Johnnie’s Cottage, a National Trust property is located in the village. In the old churchyard nearby are the graves of Robert Burn’s mother, Tam O’Shanter, Souter Johnnie and Kirkton Jean. The baptismal font of Robert the Bruce can also be found there.
Maidens: Once a thriving fishing village, now largely residential with a visiting population to the many caravan parks. Malin Court Care Home, the only care home in the parishes is located here.
Turnberry: The smallest village of the three, best known for its golf course which regularly hosts the R&A British Open Golf Championship.
Dunure: Dunure is a historic fishing village with an ancient castle and harbour. The Kennedy Park is a popular destination for day trippers and summer weekends.
Properties: This lovely Parish Church of Kirkoswald was commissioned in 1777 by Thomas, 9th Earl of Cassillis, head of the Kennedy family and Laird of Culzean Castle. Although at this time work had begun on the foundations, the famous architect, Robert Adam who was working on Culzean, was commissioned to draw up plans for the “new church”. The old stone church, a few yards away, was built in 1244 and is still a landmark of the village. The current church bell provides a link with the past having come from the old church where it first rang out in 1677.
In 1997 the new church was extensively renovated at a cost of £200,000 a good proportion of which was raised by the congregation. During renovation the original Adam colours were uncovered and restored.
Manse: Adjacent to the church is the manse which was built in 1967. It comprises 4 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, lounge, dining room, study, cloakroom and front porch. It has oil central heating and double glazing. There is an open fire in the lounge. Major external renovation has been completed. A new central heating system has been installed, and the grounds surrounding the manse have been tidied up.
Kirkoswald Church Hall: Adjacent to the manse and church, built in 1970 and consists of two large meeting rooms, toilets and kitchen. The Hall has recently been refurbished inside and out with the addition of roller blinds. A planned maintenance programme has been introduced to keep the building in a good state of repair. A monthly lunch club meets in the hall.
Maidens Hall: Situated in the heart of the village, used on a regular basis for holiday makers’ services, which are well supported, taken by various preachers. A major renovation has been completed to offer a facility fit for the purpose, not only for church purposes, but for the use of the wider community. External disabled access has been added. It is used on a regular basis by a Community “T” Club.
Fisherton: The Church lies about a mile north of the village in the geographical
heart of the Parish. It was built in the 1840’s and has traditional pew seating for around 120. There is no Church Hall, but events and meetings can be held in Kennedy Hall, Dunure.
Membership: The number of people on the register at Kirkoswald is 224 and at Fisherton 116. Both congregations have adopted the Church of Scotland Model Deed of Constitution.
Services: Sunday morning services take place in Fisherton at 09.45am and in Kirkoswald at 11.15 am. A regular monthly service is held in Malin Court for residents and friends. A “Holiday Makers” service is normally held at 10.00 am in Maidens during June, July and August.
Communion: Communion is celebrated in Kirkoswald at 11.15am; and in Maidens Hall at 3.00pm on the first Sunday in May and November, and at 2.30pm during the regular service of worship at Malin Court. Fisherton celebrates communion at 09.45am on the third Sunday of April and October.
Worship: Both Congregations are used to a balance between traditional and modern worship, but are open to new initiatives in worship.
Guild: A Guild meets on a regular basis in Maidens Hall during the winter months, to which friends from Fisherton are invited. Kirkoswald celebrated its 120th Anniversary in autumn 2013
Sunday Club: Children enjoy attending the club, are enthusiastic, happy and willing to participate in the children’s talk in Kirkoswald Church..
Primary Schools: There are schools located in Maidens and Fisherton, and both are well known for the high standard of education and pupil care. The school are keen to continue a good working relationship with the church.
Secondary Schools: Excellent education facilities are available at Girvan Academy, and Carrick Academy, Maybole
Hospital Facilities: These are available at the new community hospital in Girvan; with a major accident and emergency facility at Ayr Hospital.
Further Education: Adult education is well served by the new University of the West of Scotland, Ayr Campus, and Ayrshire College of Further Education.
Both are located near to Dam Park with views over the River Ayr.
Industry and Business: There are a number of businesses in the parish which have a major impact on our rural community by employing local people and encouraging tourism:
Turnberry Resort and Spa
Culzean Castle and Country Park
Malin Court and Restaurant
AD Rattray’s Whisky Experience, Costley & Costley, Dowhill Country Fayre, Malin Court Hotel and Restaurant, Shanter Riding Centre, Wildings, Craig
Tara , Heads of Ayr Farm Park to name a few.
There are also a number of small independent retail premises throughout the parish which service the communities and upon which the local population depend.
Adjacent to the Parish of Kirkoswald are the major industries of Grant’s Distillery, and what is known locally as “The Alginate Factory”.