"A public meeting of the inhabitants of Charleston and its vicinity was held on 4th February 1834 for the purpose of considering the propriety of erecting for that district an additional Church and Parish in connection with the Church of Scotland. The Rev. Dr. Burns, Minister of St George's Parish, and the Rev Rt Mair, one of the Ministers of the Abbey Parish, with a considerable number of the Members of Session of both Parishes, were present at the Meeting, which was also well attended by the residents of the neighbourhood…….." (The introduction to the Records of South Parish Church). It was decided to proceed with the erection, a committee was formed, and the Session of St George's alone, with their Minister, at once subscribed 140 guineas (£147) for the undertaking.
By September 1834 a suitable site had been obtained, and £733 subscribed. In April 1835 contracts were entered into and in April 1836 the building was ready for occupation, having cost £2200. In the same year, the Rev A Salmon was elected at a stipend of £80 per annum…..later increased to £100 per annum. In 1837 the Presbytery of Paisley fixed the boundaries of the new Parish.
Initially the new South Church, a Chapel of Ease, was a daughter church of St George's. In 1877 the church was created a Parish Church quoad sacra, and attained full independent privileges and rights.
It has been in use as a place of worship almost continuously since 1836, apart from the period 1850-1854. Following the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843, the Minister and almost all of the congregation left the Established Church to form the Free South Church, but continued to meet in the same building until 1850. They left thereafter and the church was apparently closed until 1854, when Paisley Presbytery re-constituted the South Church congregation.
Between 1879 and 1914 the church was extensively renovated and in 1903 a pipe organ was installed and in 1911 the church hall was built. The present Communion Table commemorates Dr Metcalfe's ministry (1879-1914); the lectern is a memorial to organist of nearly 50 years Mr John Easton and the communion chairs in memory of the ministry of the Rev Wyndham Evans (1934-1962).
In 1972, South Parish Church united with Oakshaw West Church, a church whose proud origins stemmed from Covenanting times in the late 1600's and whose actual building originated from about 1809.
The united congregation, now named St Luke's Church of Scotland, has worked very well together, witnessing to Christ in this south part of Paisley, and in 2012, it celebrated its 40th anniversary
In that same year, the Church was able to build a new hall, named the Galbraith Hall in memory of Miss Mary Galbraith, a quiet, modest, unassuming and delightful lady who was a member of St Luke's from 1999 - 2008, and whose generous legacy was instrumental in making the building of the hall possible . The remainder of the cost came from the sale of a mission hall of the old Oakshaw West Church, originally given to that church in memory of Mrs Margaret Clark (1848-1874), late wife of William Clark, thread manufacturer, Paisley. Both ladies are remembered on a memorial plaque in the hall.
The new hall is now in use for many of our meetings, including our new drop-in café.
South Parish Church, late 19th C
The Church Bell (now inside the Church), Caird & Co 1836
World War One Memorial 1
World War One Memorial 2
Neilston Road with South Parish Church, late 19th C
Cradle Roll 1 from 11th March 1978 till 22nd August 1993
Cradle Roll 2 from 25th September 1994 till 10th July 2011