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St John's Methodist Church, Arbroath facts for kids

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St John's Methodist Church
Arbroath St. John's Methodist Church 2.jpg
56°33′36.8″N 2°34′43″W / 56.560222°N 2.57861°W / 56.560222; -2.57861Coordinates: 56°33′36.8″N 2°34′43″W / 56.560222°N 2.57861°W / 56.560222; -2.57861
OS grid reference NO645410
Location Arbroath, Scotland
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Methodist
Founded 6 May 1772
Founder(s) John Wesley
Heritage designation Category B
Designated 11 October 1971

St John's Methodist Church, on Ponderlaw Street, Arbroath, Scotland, was founded by John Wesley on 6 May 1772. The nave is octagonal and the church has been nicknamed Totum Kirkie from 'totum', an eight-sided spinning top, and 'kirk', the Scottish word for church. It is a listed building and the second-oldest Methodist church in Scotland.


St John's is an octagonal church — a style that was preferred by John Wesley. The interior of the church has not been altered; however, the church was extended in 1882 when a porch and gallery were added. A church hall was built in 1896. The Lifeboat Window is a memorial to the loss of the RNLI lifeboat Robert Lindsay (ON 874) and six crew members in 1953.

The building became a Category B listed building on 11 October 1971.


The Church's former manse, now Wesley House, located next door, is also a listed building. It was built as a single-storey building in 1772; an upper storey was added in 1869.

George Scott Railton (1849 – 1913), the first Commissioner of The Salvation Army and second in command to its founder William Booth, was born in the manse. He was the son of Methodist missionaries, Lancelot Railton and his wife, Margaret Scott. A blue plaque marks his birthplace.


Archives relating to the church are held by Archive Services University of Dundee as part of the Arbroath and Montrose Methodist Circuit Collection.

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