This Church of Scotland Parish Church is lively and active with a registered congregation of 500 people – around 150 of whom are regular attenders.
Situated just a short walk away from Kilmarnock town centre – at the end of London Road is the marvellous building of Kay Park Parish Church, formerly known as Henderson Church. The name change came with the Union with the Old High Kirk in November, 2012. The congregation is ministered to by Rev Fiona Maxwell B.A., B.D.
We are a warm, welcoming, innovative congregation of almost 500 in the heart of Kilmarnock, drawing our members from every part of our community. In 2012, after a presbytery reappraisal, Kay Park Parish Church arose out of a union of two congregations, Old High Kirk and Henderson Church, which must be one of the happiest ‘marriages’ in the Church of Scotland. Our members, Kirk Sessions and leaders merged together seamlessly and both congregations claim to have gained the most.
Together we decided to change our name to an entirely new one as a first step to a new congregation. Together we decided to remove the pews from the sanctuary and undertake a complete refurbishment of the sanctuary and halls. Together we have taken on new challenges and formed new organisations with new leaders.
We welcome many members of other congregations in the town, who visit many of our services, come on our pilgrimages and join our clubs. The reception area at the front of the church is equipped with coffee tables and chairs and has a little kitchen , so that members and visitors can enjoy a chat over coffee.
We welcome everyone in God’s name, whatever their age, ethnicity, gender identity, physical or mental ability. There is always something going on like the Guild, the Choir, the Friendship Club, the Playgroup, the Lunch Club, the Strollers and the Young Church.
If there is one thing that Kay Park members do exceedingly well it is Fellowship.
If there is one thing that Kay Park members do exceedingly well it is Fellowship. Each year a party of around 50 goes on a pilgrimage in May to various parts of the United Kingdom; we have worshipped in Iona, Lindisfarne, York, Cartmel, Crathie and many other parts of the UK. The 2017 Pilgrimage was to Belfast. A few members of other churches join us and once they have enjoyed the fellowship on one of our pilgrimages they return.
Our monthly walking group is called Kay Park Parish Church Strollers; they stroll companionably for an hour or so and finish the morning with coffee and scones. A group called the Kay Park Striders is about to be formed for those who like more challenging walks! LunchBreak opens every second Thursday at lunchtime offering home-made soups and puddings, along with tea/coffee and biscuits for only £3.00. This brings many people into the church, along with their friends, and touches them with the fellowship that abounds among the people who make and who serve the food. The Friendship Club on alternate Thursday afternoons has a regular attendance of around 60, who will enjoy an afternoon of entertainment and a delicious afternoon tea. Again the attendance is made up of people from churches other than our own and of none.
A group of men meet in church on a Monday to work in the grounds of the church, looking after the garden, or repairing and maintaining the halls. They also have their tea and cakes and it is then that they discuss the fortunes of Kilmarnock Football Club, a topic which unites them.
Food seems to be a theme here – there is little that our members like better than enjoying a meal around a table and we believe that it is in the Christian tradition to break bread and drink wine together. So we have lunches for the congregation, suppers, Christmas lunches and Burns Suppers and get to know each other better across a table.