Built in 1860 and opened for worship in February 1861, Caddonfoot Church was designed by Alexander Pringle of Whytbank. The domed timber ceiling and arch over the chancel were added in 1875. The roof shows scenes from the life of our Lord, carved in high relief with flowers, with a sequence that follows the life of Christ from the Annunciation to the Ascension, moving from the Communion table down the nave, each one with appropriate symbols. The impressive decorated oak paneling behind the Communion table focuses on the Resurrection. The stained glass windows behind the Communion table, dedicated to Sir Walter Scott and Lord Inchscape, the father of Lord Craigmyle, are the work of Herbert Hendrie, and depict the heavenly city at the top, with pictures of Christ as the carpenter, on the right, and St Andrew and St Christopher on the left.
See more on the history of Caddonfoot Church in the ‘This is Our Church’ booklet.
Caddonfoot worship is engaging, responsive, warm, and full of fellowship. All visitors who come are impressed by the warm atmosphere. We currently have several people worshipping with us from other parishes. All of this helps create an enquiring body of worshippers. Clovenfords folk are well represented in this group. There is a commendable list of elders and non-elders who read the lessons each week, and two excellent flautists regularly contribute to the beauty of the church music. When CY (formerly Sunday School) is on holiday, there are still very often children in church, and their presence is warmly welcomed. Coffee and tea are served after morning worship, and most people stay behind for the fellowship.
Holy Communion is celebrated quarterly, and all who are present, including baptised children, are invited to participate, Ribena being available for those for whom wine is not appropriate, on medical or age grounds. Four times a year a short communion service is held jointly with Trinity on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm. This is of particular benefit to those who cannot manage the morning service.
An ecumenical Bible Study group meets in members’ homes in Clovenfords, and a weekly Bible Study a weekly Bible Study meets jointly with Trinity.
“Outreach invitations” for the Easter, Harvest and Advent/ Christmas services are created/ printed / enveloped in-house and sometimes include an in-house Parish Newsletter. Distribution to approximately 460 local households is co-ordinated by the Caddonfoot Outreach team – with the vast majority of invitations being hand-delivered (weather and geography permitting!).
Caddonfoot members are involved in the Christian Aid collection, the Chaplaincy services at the Borders General Hospital, the Galashiels Food Bank, Street Pastors, and all the activities of the Galashiels Fellowship of Churches.
There is a good relationship with Clovenfords Primary School with an ecumenical group providing chaplaincy in the school, and Easter and Christmas services usually conducted by the minister in the church.
Caddonfoot: The District and Parish
Caddonfoot Church stands on an impressive site, about a mile from Clovenfords, looking over the River Tweed as it meanders between Selkirk and Peebles. Built in 1860 to serve the rural population of the district, situated as it is at the remote corners of the five parishes of Stow, Innerleithen, Yarrow, Selkirk and Galashiels. The parish stretches from the County of Midlothian to the north, to Galashiels on the east, Selkirk and Yarrow on the south, and Innerleithen and Traquair on the west. It is well known for the historic former Vineries in Clovenfords, and for its association with Sir Walter Scott, who resided at Ashiestiel for several years. The Church lies between Ashiestiel and Abbotsford, where Scott wrote the Waverley Novels, and serves the village of Clovenfords.
The pipe organ plays a key role in the worship at Caddonfoot, along with the keyboard. Originally built by Ingrams of Edinburgh in 1933, and donated by a former Lord Craigmyle, the organ case is decorated with many carved grapes to reflect the former Clovenfords Vineries.
In 2004, after more than 70 years of use, there were serious issues with it, and the Kirk Session decided to do a complete redesign and rebuild, using as many original parts as possible. David Stark (Organ Builder, Kelso) was asked to do the work and it was completed in October 2010.
The opening recital in August 2011 was by Gerard Brooks of Central Hall, Westminster, and a subsequent recital in April 2013 by Andrew Caskie of Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, was organized by the Borders Guild of Organists.
Inside the Church
The roofing of the main part of the church was a gift from the Rev. Robert Small and was designed by Dr Macgregor Chalmers. It is ornamented with carved bosses, of which the middle eight show in high relief scenes from the life of our Lord, while the smaller bosses, flanking these, exhibit symbols appropriate to the central theme. The architect intended the church to be seated facing east, but for some reason this was not done. We must therefore follow the sequence of designs from the communion table down the knave, as follows:- The Annunciation, with rose and lily; The Nativity, with star and sun; The Baptism, with door and a blank boss; The Temptation, with torch and pillar, The Transfiguration, with lamp and lamb, The Transfiguration, with “IHS” and “XR”; The Resurrection, with wheat and grape; The Ascention, with Alpha and Omega.
The communion table, pulpit, and lectern are of carved massive oak. The table bears the inscription: “To the Glory of God and in memory of Walter Brydon, elder in Caddonfoot Church from 1867 to 1879. Presented by his grand-daughter, Lady Ballantyne, October 1911.”
Behind the table is an oak panelling surmounted by a cornice and enriched with carving, representing a scene from the Resurrrection of our Lord. It is inscribed: “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” It was designed by Mr A. N. Paterson, A.R.S.A., F.R.I.B.A., and was the gift of an anonymous donor.
The stained glass windows on either side of this panelling were presented by Lord and Lady Craigmyle of Fairnielee and are the work of Mr Herbert Hendrie, A.R.C.A., of the Edinburgh College of Art. That on the right (as one looks towards them) is dedicated to the memory of Sir Walter Scott and has as its theme “the greatness of the humble.” It depicts our Lord as a carpenter shaping a yoke, and as a teacher, saying: “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.” Below are the scenes of the washing of the disciples’ feet and of Sir Walter Scott’s favourite view at Bemersyde. Above are angels with typical Scots instruments of music, the clairsach and bagpipes, surmounted by thistles, while at the top of the window is the phoenix, the symbol of immortality. The inscription at the foot was composed by Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan): “To the Glory of God and in memory of Sir Walter Scott, to whom all men were brothers.”
For more information on the area, visit the Clovenfords Village Website