This is the oldest Dissenting church in Kilwinning, built in 1759 and rebuilt in 1825. The graves of the first two ministers of this church, Robert Smith and William Jamieson, can still be seen in the grounds.
The symptoms of the Disruption go back to 1738, when a dispute arose in the Church of Scotland over what is called 'taking the Burgess Oaths'. This meant that those seeking public office had to swear allegiance to the prevailing Protestant religion, but which form of Protestantism was a problem. Those in favour of an allegiance were called 'burghers', those who refused were termed 'anti-burghers'.
Both sides split again in 1806 to become the 'Auld Lichts' and the 'New Lichts', but later the New Licht Anti-Burghers and the New Licht Burghers united as the United Secession Church.
The Anti-Burgher Auld Lichts became part of the Original Secession Church in 1822, which split again in 1852. In 1956, it joined with the Free Church of Scotland. The congregation sang psalms and hymns with no musical accompaniment. Due to falling membership, the congregation merged with the Erskine Church in 2011.
Pewter communion ware dating from 1765, which belonged to the original Secession Church of Kilwinning, is on display in the Abbey Tower Heritage Centre.
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