The present church dates from the mid 18th Century although it includes portions of an earlier building. Substantial renovation and alteration took place in the 19th Century. It is believed that Christian worship has taken place on the site for almost 1000 years. It is recorded in Charter 297 of the Liber de Dryburgh that John, Bishop of Glasgow, gave the parish church of Maxton, along with its patronage, rights and dues, to the monks of Dryburgh Abbey in 1326, following the destruction of the Abbey by the army of Edward II in 1322.
Maxton & Mertoun Sunday School Nativity Play 1996
The following is a quote from the Inventory of Ancient and Historical Monuments Produced by the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments:
'St Cuthbert's Church of "Mackistoun" comes on record in the reign of William the Lion (Liber de Melrose, 1, 77ff) but the present building has lost its medieval character as the result of enlargement and successive restorations culminating in the nineteenth century. The only feature of architectural interest is the west entrance on the south side. This is a round-arched doorway with moulded archivolt, jambs and imposts; the type originates about the middle of the 15th century, but this example may be as late as the early 17th century.' HMSO. Royal Commission on the Ancient Monuments of Scotland - County of Roxburgh Vol 1 (1956).
The church carries a Burgerhuys bell dated 1609.
In plan the church is T-shaped with the pulpit and communion table at the intersection of the two parts of the "T". This provides an intimate setting for worship which does not compromise the essential dignity of the building.
Stained Glass Windows
In the mid 1990's the furnishings and fittings of the church were recorded by the local branch of Church Recorders of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies. Unfortunately the Record is not available for loan. However arrangements can be made to view it. For further details contact the minister (see below).
For security reasons the church is kept locked. Arrangements can be made to visit it by contacting the minister ahead of the date of the planned visit. A guide book is available.
Until 1958 the parish of Maxton had a minister of its own living in the manse beside the church. With the departure of the Reverend MacKnight C Cowper in that year the parish was linked with Mertoun on the other side of the Tweed. Since then a number of different arrangements have been put in place by the Presbytery. The present situation was created in 1994 when Maxton was united with Mertoun and that united congregation was linked with St Boswells. At the time of union the congregation of Maxton numbered 46. Over the last few years the membership of the united charge of Maxton and Mertoun has remained at around 160.
In September 2006, the linkage was changed to include Newtown Church. The new linkage is known as the Linked Charges of Maxton and Mertoun with Newtown with St Boswells.
Borders Family History Society Book
The church is used for worship on the second and fourth Sundays of each month and on other occasions as decided, (Mertoun Church is used on first, third Sundays). The fifth Sunday has a United service in one of the churches in the charge. There is a Sunday School. We are immensely grateful for the long tradition of worship and witness in which we stand. However the church is not a museum. It is one of two places of worship used by a congregation committed to being faithful to the Gospel and playing its part today in the ever changing life of the community.
Visitors are always assured of a warm welcome at worship. Full details of services and other events are posted on the Bulletin Board. For further details on any of the above please contact the minister - Rev Sheila Moir, The Manse, St Boswells, Melrose, TD6 0BB. - telephone: 01835 822255.
'Maxton Monumental Inscriptions', from Maxton's graveyard.
Ministers of Maxton Kirk since the Reformation List of Maxton Ministers