Bolton | Belief

Bolton Kirk has remained the sole place of worship in the parish. The parish was linked with Saltoun (linked in 1929) throughout the period, and they shared the same kirk session. In 1945, there were 420 communicants noted; 300 in 1973; 252 in 1999 – for Bolton & Saltoun. The existing link was extended to Humbie and Yester in 1979. Services are held in Yester / Humbie / Saltoun or Bolton each Sunday – ie three each Sunday with Bolton and Saltoun alternating; this has been in operation since c1980. Previously both Bolton and Saltoun churches had held weekly services. The joint parishes’ minister is based at the manse in Yester.

1928-47 Robert N. Paisley
1948-58 Alexander Campsie
1959-79 George W.H. Louden
1979 Bolton & Saltoun linked with Humbie & Yester
1979-84 Allan Scott
1985-97 John Wilson
1999-date Donald Pirie

In 1982, Bolton church had to be closed because of structural deterioration, and remedial work carried out at a cost of £5000. The following year, the General Assembly refused their permission when asked if the kirk could sell two Canongate silver communion cups to raise funds for vital repairs to the building. Nonetheless these cups – dating from 1696 – were later sold.

The session clerk – Norman Murphy – set up a Bolton & Saltoun churches web page (note original domain – – is now another organisation). The inscriptions in Bolton churchyard were recorded, and are given on the website. The SWRI parish description (c1974) is also reproduced there.

In 1994 on the 750th anniversary of the dedication of the church, a tree was planted in the churchyard to commemorate the event.