Almost 200 Years in the Making
Founded in 1818 Woodside Congregational Church was formed when a subscription list was begun to fund the building of a Church in the burgh of Woodside before it officially became a part of Aberdeen. The Church was also known as Printfield.
The church building (the oldest one in Woodside) which is located on Great Northern Road (between Spar and Iceland) was opened in 1821 and replaced the original church which was established in 1818 to allow people to worship in Woodside without having to travel to Oldmachar Cathedral which was the nearest Church at that time. The original church was small, had a thatched roof and was nicknamed “The Cotton Chapel” as it was heavily subscribed by workers from the local Grandholm Mill.
Re-established in 1997 the Church moved to the Burgh Hall on Clifton Road as the original Church was no longer in our possession. Unfortunately the Burgh Hall closed in December 2012 and we found ourselves almost homeless. It was the kindness of our neighbours at the Printfield Project/Forum who gave us a roof over our heads and the ability to keep our worship and outreach going. We have been at the Printfield Portacabin since December 2012 and continue to run a number of clubs for the youth of the community.
There is almost 200 years of rich history to delve into so it may take some time before this page is able to give a full picture of our Church.
A Congregational Church is an Independent Church
Back in 1818, the early days of Woodside Congregational Church, it is written, ‘For one thing the people were too poor to buy clothes in which they would care to attend church, those who did go, went in their working clothes, washed or cleaned for the occasion’.
Very much the Church of the people for the poor people many who worked in the Cotton Mills along the River Don.
Today’s Woodside Congregational Church is the continuing Independent presence in Woodside. Our predecessors go back to 1818, when a small group gathered and formed a Church which met in the ‘Lairds House, in the Printfield area, before they built the Cotton Chapel a little thatched roof building’ on the site of the now derelict Church building on Great Northern Road which was built in 1868. The area was known as Printfield, and noted sometimes as Tanfied.
The Church continued to meet there till 1994 when the Church closed. Three years later, a tiny group re-established the Congregational presence in Woodside. Since then, we have met in the local Primary School, Woodside Burgh Hall and St. John’s Church for the Deaf, before moving to the Portacabin, at the rear of Printfield Community Project – historically in some ways its like ‘coming home.’
That first Church in Woodside, was established along Congregational principles, where neither King nor Bishop nor Minister, Elder nor Deacon had the right to dictate how they should worship God. Today we still hold to that principle. Every member is involved in ALL the decisions made relating to our Church. Some say that is not practical, but it is based on the very first decision made after Christ died – the appointment of the ‘seven’, Stephen and six others, see Acts Ch 6 v 5 ‘The whole group was pleased with the Apostles’ proposal’.
In 1993 Congregationalism went though a schism and the remnant linked into the Congregational Federation of the UK with offices in Nottingham.
Our Church today is part of the Federation.
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