With the rise in shipbuilding at that time, Caird's shipyard was established about 1844, close to the church, and gradually expanded in the area.

In 1917, Harland & Wolff, the new owners of the shipyard proposed to Greenock Presbytery to purchase but "provide another suitable site to which the Church and the Churchyard could be with all care and reverence be transferred." After much negotiation, agreement was reached among the parties involved in 1919 whereby Harland & Wolff would pay for dismantling the church and "building of its replica" at Seafield on the Esplanade.

When the Old West Kirk closed in 1925, the momentous task of dismantling the ancient and historic church began. Built on the west shore in 1591 by Johhne Schaw, it was now to be rebuilt a short distance away on another shore, with almost the same view across the River Clyde to the Argyllshire hills and 'bens.' That it should be within sight of passing ships was fitting, for it had long been known as the 'Sailor's Kirk.'

The old stones were dismantled, numbered, transported, cleaned and rebuilt on their new site on the Esplanade. Strange carvings were found on the underside of many stones - birds, fish, animals, dates and "initials", hidden for over 300 years when, in 1589, work had begun on the first "West Kirk."

A less pleasant task was the clearing out of the ancient cemetery, first used in 1592 and closed in 1857.

The rebuilding of the church had begun in March 1926 and was completed in January 1928. The architect was Mr. James Miller, Glasgow, and the contractors were Messrs. Muir & Co. Ltd. Kilmarnock.

On the wall of the church facing Campbell Street, is a carved stone which reads

carved stone