Ardchattan Parish News
05 February 201927th January 2019
27th January 2019 will be recorded in history as the date of the final services and closure of Ardchattan Kirk after 182 years.
It was a bright crisp winter morning and even a little sun shone through the windows as the Rev Bill Grey opened the final Communion Service with the words of Psalm 106 “Give praise and thanks unto the Lord, for bountiful is he; his tender mercy doth endure unto eternity.”
Before the Sacrament of Communion as many members as possible moved to the central table with its pristine white cloth. Others stayed in the pews and the communion cups and plates were passed around by the elders. The silver used had been presented in 1843 by Augusta, wife of General Campbell of Lochnell to Ardchattan Free Church.
Ardchattan Church has meant many things to many people and there were very mixed emotions at the service as the past with family and friends were silently remembered.
The evening service was conducted by the Rev Dr Roderick Campbell. The church was full as members were joined by friends, many having a long family association with Ardchattan Church.
Rev Campbell based his sermon on 'Faith, Hope and Love' and although again a sad and nostalgic occasion, there was faith, hope and love – the very core of the Christian Church. Before singing the last hymn, “The day you gave us Lord, has ended” the congregation stood to say together –
We give thanks for the worship and witness of past generations. We recognise the changing situations within our land. We have agreed, under the guidance of the Presbytery of Argyll, to the closure of this Holy Place. With sadness we will close our doors this evening. With faith we will move forward into God’s future.
A well deserved thank you to Norman Nicolson who provided the music for both services and who has been the organist in the Church for about 40 Years.
Tea, cakes and chat were enjoyed by all before the lights switched off and the doors locked.
06 January 2019Ardchattan Kirk Closure
January 2019 is a significant month in the Parish of Ardchattan as it will see the closure of Ardchattan Kirk, which was opened for worship in 1836, and has been in continuous use for worship for the last 182 years.
“If only the walls could talk”, what stories would the walls of Ardchattan Kirk have to tell? The walls and fabric of the building have remained relatively unchanged since its completion in 1836, but the Parish has changed. In early days, especially on Sundays when the Sacrament of Holy Communion was celebrated, the Church would have been full to its capacity of 420, as people travelled from all corners of what was then the largest parish in land area in Scotland. Food was cooked in the side rooms and everyone fed. The central Communion table would have been full. No matter the type of occasion - commemorative services, happy or sad occasions – the church has been integral to family life in the area over the years.
It was built by J & W Dundas (or Dalziel?) of Hamilton, and using plans by Oban architect John Thompson at an estimated cost of £972-4s-1d, using local granite and sandstone, and has stood the test of time. It was financed by the landlords of the local estates of Ardchattan, Barcaldine and Lochnell.
In 182 years, there have only been 7 Ministers, and the forebears of some of today’s church members would have attended the opening service of worship.
Ardchattan Kirk, 182 years of worship – but what makes a church a real church? People, people who worship, and people will continue to worship in the Parish of Ardchattan, offering friendship, support and encouragement to all in the years to come.