Fort William Kilmallie Church of Scotland

MacIntosh Memorial


Soon after the Disruption of 1843, when the Free Church was formed, a Fort William congregation was begun. A church building was erected near the pier and the Rev. Charles Stewart became minister until 1881 when the Rev John Maclntosh became colleague and successor. In the early years, a church school was run, and poor relief was administered.

It was during Mr MacIntosh's ministry that the building on the hill was constructed and opened in March 1890, the cost being paid within a few years. 1900 was the year of the union of the Free Church with the United Presbyterian Church [an amalgam of earlier breakaways], the majority joining the newly-formed United Free Church. As a result of the House of Lords' decision regarding property in 1904, the congregation was deprived of the use of that building for a short time. However, local possession was settled for the new UF Church, while the Free Church Continuing occupied the original building at the pier. Mr Maclntosh died in 1910 after a ministry of nearly thirty years.

There followed the three brief ministries of the Revds A. Shaw, A. Dawson, and Wm MacLeod, until the induction of the Revd D. C. Gollan, in whose ministry the union of the United Free church and the Church of Scotland took place. In that historic year of 1929, the congregation entered the Church of Scotland to become a parish church in its own right, named after the first minister to work in the building on Fassifern Road, John Maclntosh.

Since the death of Mr Gollan in 1931, five ministries [Revd A. MacLean, A. K. Robertson, DJ.B.McAlister, J.E.Duncan, A.Ramsay] have followed. The "MacIntosh" has had a colourful history, including both rugged independence and stout loyalty to its Presbyterian heritage, as successive unions have shown, guarding its evangelical foundation/'Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone".

The former MacIntosh building stopped being used as a church when the union of 2007 took place, and after several subsequent sales it is currently in use as a climbing centre. Many members of the current united congregation have deep MacIntosh roots, and its history remains an important part of who we are today.