Thomas Coats Memorial Church

Thomas Coats Memorial Church, Paisley. One of the finest Baptist churches in Europe. Visitors are advised to check opening times in advance.

Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Baptist Cathedral Of Europe

The Church has been part of the Paisley sky-line for a 100 years and is sometimes called the Baptist Cathedral of Europe. The spiritual home of a broad-based congregation in the Baptist tradition, the Church is primarily a place of worship, prayer, music and the preaching of the gospel. As such it offers a welcome to all who come through its great oak doors.The beauty of the building speaks its own silent message. There is the intricate beauty of the wood carvings and the spaciousness and symmetry of the sanctuary with its vaulted roof and cruciform shape. Marble, alabaster and mosaics abound. The building, in red sandstone, is Gothic in design, topped with a crown spire rising to more than 60 metres above ground-level.

Viewing by arrangement. To view the Church please contact the Church Secretary.

High Street, Paisley, PA2 9NH,


Tel: 0141 889 9980(church), 0141 587 8992 (secretary).

High Street, Paisley, PA2 9NH,

Thomas Coats Memorial Photographs

The Coats Family History

James Coats (1774-1857), originally a ‘cork’ or manufacturer in tambouring trade, formed a partnership with James Whyte to produce ‘Canton Crepe’.

For several years the firm held the monopoly of this trade in Paisley. With his success, he built himself a town house at Back Row, Ferguslie. He then , as a silent partner, funded the firm of Ross & Duncan at George Street, who had mastered the techniques of twisting silk yarn. On dissolving this partnership, James Coats built his first small mill at ferguslie in 1826. In 1830, after perfecting his thread, he retired.

His sons, James and Peter, founded the firm of J & P Coats.
Soon, their brother, Thomas, joined the company. This family combination was ideal for a business undertaking. James had been a shawlmaker, Peter was an accountant, and Thomas an engineer.

The mill buildings at Ferguslie were largely increased in the 1840′s. By this time, trade with America accounted for three-quarters of the firms output, as another brother, Andrew, had built-up a marketing empire there. To counter the policy of home-trade protection, made by the Americans, the firm opened up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island between 1870 and 1883. Further mils were opened up in Russia, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Spain. In 1890, the company had a capital of nearly £6,000,000! it had, from small beginnings, become one of the largest undertaking of its kind in the world.
In 1896, it absorbed the Clark Empire.
Besides the Clarks and Coats, other threadmakers, such as the Kerrs and Carliles, had existed in the town, but, through time, were either absorbed by other companies or had failed in business.

Text from Paisley History section