Rev G Little and the beginnings of Craigsbank Church

              Rev G Little and the beginnings of Craigsbank Church



                                             Rev Graham Little
                                             (1937 - 1951)


The foundation stone of the Church/Hall (now the Large Hall) was laid on

Jan 27th, 1937, by the Secretary of the Home Board and in September, Mr

Little, then at St Serf's, Dysart, was appointed minister. Five elders from St

Ninian's and five from St Anne's Churches formed the new Kirk Session. On

October 15th, 1937, the Hall was dedicated and Mr Little inducted. There was

no charge to the congregation because there was as yet no congregation. The new

parish had been created although it was not until a vote by the members in March

1938 that Craigsbank became the official name, beating the other suggestions of

Craigs, Corstorphine West and St Colm's. 


The congregation grew rapidly.Mr Little was assiduous in visiting new residents in 

the district, travelling about on his bicycle. Many were attracted to the church by his

friendly approaches and were also impressed by the welcoming manner of those

on door duty and by the fact that no seats were reserved, unlike many of the older

city churches.


Mr Little wore a frock coat and a top hat to church until the war when he relaxed the

formality slightly  and purchased a Homburg.


On September 3rd, 1939, Mr Little brought his wireless to the morning service

so that the congregation could listen to Chamberlain's announcement of the

outbreak of war. When this had finished, he said a short prayer and closed the

service. As people made their way home, they heard the first air - raid sirens



                                   LISTEN TO BRITAIN'S DECLARATION OF WAR


For six years the small congregation struggled with the problems of wartime.

Much of the work of the church fell on  Mr Little's shoulders and also those of 

his family: Mrs Little commented that she sometimes felt that they did every-

thing but preach. During the war years the number of members remained

at roughly 350 with almost one-sixth of them away on active service.


The end of the war was celebrated at Craigsbank by the granting of "full status"

by the General Assembly. The deed of constitution was handed over on October

13th, 1946 and the assessor elders from St Ninian's and St Anne's were released

from duties which they had performed so faithfully for nine years. Craigsbank

was no longer a Church Extension charge but a full church. The Kirk Session

consisted of nine elders elected since 1941 while a Congregational Board was

created out of a committee of management which had been operating since 1938.


The next few years saw the resumption of building and another spurt in the growth

of the congregation. In 1951 Mr Little accepted a call to Eddleston and the vacancy

committee unanimously recommended the Rev J. B. Donald to the congregation

which now numbered 415.



                          Foundation Stone


     Notice the stained class window in the original hall.


The information above is short extracts from a publication produced

by Craigsbank Church in 1987. The research was done by Frances

MacLeod. You can view this book on the website.


In addition when Rev Graham Little died in 1976 the church newsletter published what

 amounted to an obituary and this is reproduced here:

Craigsbank Parish Church Newsletter 1976