The Medieval Abbey
The Abbey of Kilwinning was founded around 1188 on land endowed by Richard de Morville.
The monks of Kilwinning were members of a branch of the Benedictines, that is, they lived according to the rule which St Benedict had laid down in the 6th century. This obliged them to spend a considerable part of each day in prayer and worship and to occupy the rest of the time in useful labour.
The Kilwinning monks were also known as Tironensians, that is, they had adopted the ideals of the Abbey of Tiron, near Chartres in France, where early in the 12th century a reaction had set in against the laxity, real or supposed, which had crept in to the observance of the rule.
The first mention of a Protestant minister of Kilwinning, one William Kilpatrick, is in 1587.
The first church was built within the ruins of the Abbey.
Worship has been continuous in this tradition since that time.