Parish Profile

Stirling St Mark’s Parish Church Parish Profile

An Unrestricted ‘Priorities Area’ Charge


A ‘Chance to Thrive’ Congregation

Will you join us on our journey to put Christian service and worship

at the heart of our community?



This is our call

Our Stirling parish of Raploch and Cornton is changing with new buildings and new people. And so are we. For the last 6 years, as a Priority Area and one of the first Chance to Thrive congregations, we have been finding new ways of meeting the developing needs of our community:

  • Our members are much more engaged in the life of the church, we have found ways of connecting with our community, of working with and serving local people, and of having fun together.

  • We have partnered with our local supermarket to provide support at Christmas to help some of those in need; and they have helped spruce up our halls.

  • Under the banner of “St Marks@Sainsbury’s” we hold a “fresh expression” of family church fortnightly in our local superstore.

  • We hold a monthly ‘messy’ family church, led by the participants.

  • We now have a brand new manse in our parish, built in 2017.

  • We have completed a feasibility study into the future use of our buildings and are embarking on a business plan and funding appraisal to take it forward.

  • We have shared our journey with the other ten Chance to Thrive congregations and shared our story more widely with other churches, including a fringe event at the General Assembly.

  • We have developed ecumenical links and events with the Salvation Army and local Catholic Church in our parish (the three ‘Drip Road’ churches).

  • We work jointly with other Church of Scotland congregations (‘Stirling Kirks Together’), who help with our Summer Holiday Club and with ‘Learn’ training events.

  • As a Priority Area charge we benefit greatly from an additional member of staff, currently our Deacon, Jean Porter, to provide a team ministry.

In all this we have worked closely with our Chance to Thrive co-ordinator, mentor and volunteers, and the Priority Areas Committee, and have been greatly supported by Stirling Presbytery and the General Trustees.

Now that our former minister has moved to take on the challenge of the pioneer ministry in Paisley’s Ferguslie Park, and Stirling Presbytery has agreed that Stirling St. Mark’s should continue to be an unrestricted charge, we are hoping to call a minister:

  • with the heart to serve in a Priority Area charge;

  • who is excited to join us on our Chance to Thrive journey;

  • who is open to finding new ways of Christian service to put the hope of the Gospel at the heart of our community; and,

  • who will seek to build on our links with other churches in the parish, the presbytery, and beyond.

Our people, our activities, our buildings and our community

Key facts about Stirling St. Mark’s:

  • Our parish is to the north-west of Stirling city centre

  • It includes the whole of Raploch, half of Cornton, joined by the site of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, as well as the Craigforth junction on the M9

  • The census facts and figures about our parish are found on the Church of Scotland’s web-site here.

  • Our congregation began in the 1930s in the new primary school, as a daughter of the Church of the Holy Rude

  • Our halls were built shortly after as a ‘hall church’ and the sanctuary followed in the mid-1960s – and they are centrally located on Raploch’s Drip Road

  • We have 150 members and 6 recent adherents on our electoral register

  • Our kirk session has nine elders, seven of whom were ordained in the last ten years, and we have another six board members

  • We have a local ‘Chance to Thrive’ group of some 16 members

  • Financially, we are keeping our heads above water, and the more we do, the more support we seem to get –our latest accounts are here.

Insights into our recent journey:

  • We became one of the first 8 ‘Chance to Thrive’ congregations in 2011.

  • Stirling presbytery conducted a local church review in 2013 – a copy can be obtained from our interim moderator

  • An evaluation of ‘Chance to Thrive’ was carried out and reported in 2016 – here is the summary

  • The Carnegie Trust produced this video about Chance to Thrive

  • We told Stirling presbytery about our Chance to Thrive journey in April 2016 – here’s what we said

  • In February 2017 Stirling presbytery asked for our input into the review of the presbytery plan – here is what we said

  • In late 2016 we were accepted to stay part of Chance to Thrive

  • We are about to commission a business plan to implement the transformation of our church buildings

Here is what we are doing just now:

  • Weekly on Sundays we have a morning and an evening service

  • Monthly on Sunday afternoons we have a family church service

  • Fortnightly on Tuesdays we meet at Sainsbury’s for an informal fresh expression style service and then a meal together

  • Every other Tuesday, we have an informal study group

  • Every Wednesday afternoon our “Young @ Heart Ladies” discussion group meets

  • Every Wednesday evening, our children’s ‘Supergroup’ meets

  • Fortnightly on Friday afternoons, our women’s social group meets

  • Our ministry team meets monthly with an ecumenical group of local ministers for mutual support and encouragement

  • In the summer we hold a week-long holiday club

  • We participate with other churches (Roman Catholic and Salvation Army) in our parish at Christmas, Easter and Remembrance service

  • We join with other Church of Scotland congregations across Stirling in ‘Learn’ and each other’s social events

  • We have a web-site and here’s the link

  • We are on facebook too – like here!

Here’s how we connect with our community:

  • We are known to local businesses. provide chaplaincy to our local schools, and support to care homes

  • We let out our halls for a wide range of community activities, including AA, HomeStart, Canine Partners, dance classes, Baby Noise (run by Big Noise), various others and family parties

  • With support from Sainsbury’s, we use nearly all of our kirk session fund each year to help needy groups at Christmas

  • We ran a ‘fruit barra’ for five years

  • We involved our local neighbours and community groups in a feasibility study looking at re-shaping of our church buildings to better meet the needs of the congregation and our community

  • We tidied up a local green space and organised events under the auspices of our Shared Space Project

This is our ‘word bubble’ showing what we associate most with St Mark’s.

To enquire about being our minister, or to obtain copies of the documents referred to and more photos of our manse, please contact our interim moderator Rev Ellen Larson-Davidson (01786 871249 or

To apply, please write to the clerk of our nominating committee: 

Mr. Andrew Tomlinson

St. Marks Parish Church


Fk8 1Re

or email Mr Tomlinson at:

Registered Scottish Charity No SC005432

If you wish to print off a copy of our Parish Profile please download our pdf copy.

You can download a pdf copy of our Parish Profile here.