Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald
of 7 December 1883 carried the following report.
CONSECRATION OF SAINT ANDREW'S CHURCH, ARDROSSAN
On Friday 30 November - Saint Andrew's Day - the Church of Saint Andrew, Ardrossan was consecrated by the Right Reverend, the Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway. The Bishop and Clergy entered the church at twelve o'clock noon by the vestry door and took up their places on the chancel steps after which Dr R Beedie Robertson, one of the original trustees and vestrymen of the church, presented to the Bishop, on behalf of his co-trustees and vestrymen, a petition praying that the church might duly be consecrated to the service of God. After the petition had been read by the Reverend M B Hutchison of Saint Ninian's Glasgow, one of the Bishop's chaplains, his Lordship intimated his pleasure in acceding to the prayer of the petition. The Bishop and clergy walked slowly down the centre of the church to the west door then slowly retraced their steps, repeating as they went, in alternative verses with the congregation, the twenty-fourth psalm. On entering the chancel the Bishop seated himself in his chair when Dr R Beedie Robertson, on behalf of the Earl of Eglinton, one of the original trustees and founders of the church and the donor of the land, who was prevented from being present by the death of his brother, the honourable Seton Montgomerie, presented the Bishop the titles of the church property which the Bishop laid upon the holy table and, turning to the congregation, began the consecration service
At a particular part of the service, the Dean of the diocese read the sentence of consecration and placed it upon the holy table where it was signed by the Bishop in presence of the people. After this the Bishop, kneeling down, said "O thou, the High and Lofty one who inhabitest eternity, who are exalted far above all heavens and yet has declared that thou dwellest with the contrite and humble spirits on earth, grant, we beseech thee, that this house which we have now presumed to dedicate to thee by our office and ministry may also be hallowed as thy temple of old was hallowed by the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost and so forever continue through thy mercy, O blessed Lord God who dost live and govern all things, world without end, Amen. Then followed the order for morning prayer, read by the incumbent, the Reverend Robert Mordue, the first special lesson from the Old Testament being read by the Reverend W L Low, Largs, the second from the New Testament by the Reverend W L Gallacher, Girvan, the litany being read by the Reverend M B Hutchison.
The Very Reverend, the Dean of Glasgow and Galloway, then entered the pulpit and preached from the sixth verse of the one hundred and twenty-second psalm - "O pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper and love thee.". After pointing out what a noble object of interest Jerusalem with its temple was to God's people of old as a channel of grace and blessing to them and showing that all the tokens of his presence there vouchsaved by God to his people were but times and shadows of those good things which we Christians enjoy. The preacher then said "First, let me refer, for a few moments to the service in which we have engaged this day and which, I am sure, will tend to add solemnity to your feelings when you enter these now hallowed walls. One Saint Andrew's Day saw the foundation of this building laid. Another saw the building opened under the Bishop's licence for public worship but even then, on account of the encumbrances on the building, circumstances might have arisen in which it might have been diverted from the sacred purpose for which it was erected but now, through the blessing of God on your exertions, these encumbrances have been removed, the surroundings have been completed to fence it from desecration and all put into such a state that you are enabled to ask your Bishop on this Saint Andrew's Day to consecrate it to the honour of God's great name separating it henceforth from all unhallowed, ordinary and common uses and dedicating it to his service only. This must be at once a source of gratification and thankfulness to those who have interested themselves in this work and it will secure its being preserved always for the sacred purposes for which it is dedicated as a house of God. May it be to all who enter here truly a house of God and the gate of heaven. May you daily avail yourselves of the opportunities and means which shall, in God's name, be offered here to worship God and obtain his grace and may the fruits of all be seen abundantly in your daily life and conversation. May those among whom you live, when they take knowledge of you, own a truth that you have been with Jesus and all to the glory of God.".
The very reverend gentleman then pointed out that this psalm teaches the way in which we may most effectually manifest the depth and sincerity of our love to the Church of God and help on the gracious work which God instituted his church to accomplish in the world, namely the sanctifications and the final salvation of mankind. "David's feelings", he said "manifested themselves in prayer for the cultivation of peace and unity, not that peace that is popularly understood, but that peace which leads to Christ to agree in the truth of God's holy word and live in unity and godly love.". In speaking of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the preacher said "The church may seem a small body in this land. Once it was otherwise. It was the church of the nation but for political reasons at the period of the revolution, the government of the day saw it fit to deprive it of its temporalities. It was disestablished and disendowed. Government could not, however, deprive it from its original powers which came from God and though the state may confer on the church temporal benefits and, if it pleases, may take them away it cannot deprive it of the divine mission or spiritual authority. Resting on their divine mission, our bishops and clergy of the day took quietly the spoiling of their goods and continued to minister in holy things to those who, in this land, adhere to Evangelic truth and Apostolic order. We, their successors, continue to do the same. Owing to the severity of the penal laws enacted against the church in the last century, the members adhering to it became, in the course of time, greatly diminished and our bishops and clergy few and greatly depressed. Better days have begun to dawn on the church. Many have been awakened to a sense of truth and have been gathered in and the number of its members increases so I trust they will do and, maybe hope that in God's good providence, the time may come when our sad divisions be healed and all may be united into one body in Christ then would the glory of God be prompted by the hearty cooperation of all against evil and unbelief. God's cause and God's truth would be more fully advanced and sin and sorrow and suffering more effectually restrained and lessened.".
There was a celebration of the holy communion which as well as the consecration service was well attended. The offertory for incidental expenses and some recent repairs on the church was liberal. Thus has been completed the work begun by the Episcopal Church in West Kilbride Chapel in the year 1851, carried on with varying success till 1872, finally organised then and removed to Ardrossan on Whitsunday,1 June 1873. In addition to the splendid communion vessels belonging to Saint Andrew's, a miniature set which is used in the licensed chapel in West Kilbride appeared in the chancel and the only special adornment which of the church for the day was a beautiful floral cross of white camellias and chrysanthemums on a ground of maiden hairfern which was suspended from the centre of the wall behind the holy table. After the service, the Trustees and Vestry entertained the clergy and such members of the congregation and friends of Saint Andrew's Church as were able to be present at lunchtime in the Eglinton Arms Hotel.