Windows turn up Down Under

HAVING travelled more than 10,000 miles around the globe, Kilsyth man Wallace Clelland didn’t expect to encounter a little piece of his home town on the eastern coast of Australia.

Wallace, who now stays in Swansea, New South Wales, was visiting a distant relation, June Cuthel, in Newcastle when her husband Toby told him about Evermoore Chapel, an unusual church he was building for a client in Bellingen.

Wallace explained: “I went away down and saw the building and took some photos – it’s quite an incredible place. I met Barbara Moore there, the lady who’s building it.

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“She said to me: ‘Have a look at those stained glass windows I got.’ She bought them at an auction in Sydney and I asked her where they came from.

“She said: ‘They’re from a small village in Scotland, you’ll never know where it is.’ I told her I know a wee bit about the smaller towns and villages, and then she told me they were from Kilsyth.

“I just looked at her and said, ‘You’re pulling my leg, that’s where I come from’. I just couldn’t believe it.”

As it turns out, the 12 windows were originally part of the Elim Church, built by the Murdochs in 1914, next to what is now Blenheim Court. The building was eventually passed to the YMCA and it is believed it was then that the windows, which all contain images from the Old Testament, were removed.

They were originally built into another church in New South Wales, before being sold to Barbara.

Wallace continued: “The main thinking behind the church is that Barbara wants to leave something in this world that makes it a better place.

“She’s a perfectionist and wants to write a book all about the church and the windows, and is trying to find out as much as she can about them.”

Wallace and his family have managed to gather some information on the Elim Church, but so far no pictures of the building when the windows were still there have turned up.

If you have any information or pictures you think could help please contact the Chronicle directly on 01236 725578 or send an e-mail to the address above.