Howgate Kirk

Howgate Kirk is a small country church with a long history, located in the centre of the village welcoming new people to the area as well as those who have lived here for many years.

Services take place every Sunday, 9:30 - 10:30am

'The S.Club' welcomes children from 3-15yrs, who enjoy the first part of the service in church, then they are invited to attend S.Club in the Hall where they can learn more about Jesus and have fun.  Please note:  S.Club does not run during school summer holidays but there's always some activity for the young folk at the back of the church.  Afterwards they can re-join the rest of the congregation and our Minister Ian Cathcart for coffee and home baking following the main service. 

We extend a warm welcome to everyone who wishes to visit. 

Please contact our Session Clerk, Irene Hobbs on:  01721 724 330  if you have any queries or require more information - or just come along!

Reverend Ian Cathcart is our Minister
and he can be reached on: 01968 674 692
or via:

Howgate Kirk is one of four Church of Scotland congregations in the area, and is linked to Penicuik South Church. The other two are Penicuik North Church, and St.Mungo's Church.

 A brief history ...

The original congregation of Howgate Parish Church began in 1747, with the first building being constructed in 1751.  The present sanctuary was erected in 1856. The structure is very much typical of Scottish rural church architecture of that period: an unadorned and peaceful quiet space, rectangular in design with a gallery.

The present pipe organ is thought to have been designed and made by Hamilton in the late 1830s and is reputed to be a copy of an identical pipe organ manufactured for the young Queen Victoria. Henry Willis & Sons acquired the pipe organ after the Second World War from a private house in Edinburgh . After overhauling it they sold it in 1951 to the head mistress of Howgate Primary School – and she in turn presented it to the parish church.

Howgate Parish Church, like so many congregations of the time, first began in 1747 because of differences in practice and belief. The ‘Original Secession’ (i.e. the group that first left the Church of Scotland) occurred in 1733 with its beginnings earlier in the century.

Howgate in national history

The Church Patronage (Scotland) Act of 1711 sought to restore the Patrons (i.e. the nobles and land owners) their ancient rights of choosing ministers in vacant churches. Being only five years after the Union of the Parliaments of Scotland and England, many Scottish ministers felt the right of the local parish church to elect their own minister was under threat. Politically this tension was seen in the 1715 Jacobite uprising. In terms of church life, congregations that kept strictly to the belief that local churches should choose their own minister broke away from the Church of Scotland in 1733. As is so often the case, once this division occurred the resulting church suffered from further splits later in the 1700s. Thus, in 1747, Howgate Parish Church was founded. The present church was built in 1856.