FRASERBURGH Old Parish Church was formed in 1803 and, while the spire is quaint and unassuming compared to other churches in the town, its pulpit and reach is certainly not.
Standing on this the pulpit one day, a visiting preacher was heard to remark:
“It seems that this could well be the highest pulpit in Scotland, for the preacher’s shoes are about 14 feet above ground level.”
In fact, to reach the pulpit from the vestry, which is practically level with the brae behind the Kirk, 26 steps must be tackled.
To the visiting minister, it must have seemed like hill-climbing.
The pulpit of Fraserburgh Old Parish Church is itself a memorial to the men who gave their lives during the Great War, 1914-1919. The names of those who fell adorn the brass plaques which panel the six prominent faces of the pulpit structure.
The spire itself features the familiar time-telling piece of Broad Street, the clock.
In recent weeks, this has been subject of a clean – the reason why many of us have seen a man hanging his head out of the spire.
The superb stained glass window, adorning the chancel is a work of great art and beauty, and is reckoned to be one of the late Doctor Douglas Strachan’s best works.
Doctor Strachan chose Psalm 148 as the basis of the window, with the artwork depicting the praise from the Church on Earth to Heaven above, including the homage paid by heavenly hosts of Christ.
Unfortunately, the window was removed last autumn piece by piece due the structure around it having begun to deteriorate. In storage at Edinburgh, the Old Parish Church’s window has spent the winter whilst support beams and stonework have been put in place to welcome it home.
Thankfully, work on refurbishment has been completed, and there are plans to welcome the window back in place on the week beginning April 2, with a Service of Rededication at a date to be determined.
The heart of worship if the formal public Sunday worship at the Auld Kirk.
Here, the congregation receives not only directly from God, but also from their fellow worshippers. Sometimes it is in the singing; sometimes it is in the sermon; sometimes it is in the quiet of communal prayer, or the silence of private payer – sometimes it is al of these things.
Reverend Peter Park offers a variety of worship opportunities at the Auld Kirk, with a morning service at 11am, and an evening service at 6pm every Sunday.
Furthermore, there is a family service each month, services at local care homes, and services for those who difficulty attending through illness or otherwise.
Holy Communion is celebrated at both morning and evening services on the first Sunday of March, June, September and December.
The Church Centre was opened in 1992 and is linked to the old ‘penny schoolie’. These two buildings see activity through the week by the congregation, and for outreach into the community of the Broch.
Fellowship, spiritual growth and fun for all is on offer, meeting the needs of the young and not-so-young in the community at large.
As well as this, there is the Church Centre Coffee Lounge, which is a bright and friendly place to meet over tea or coffee, a light snack or lunch.
This is an important time for the congregation and the life of the Auld Kirk, however, with a planning group having been at work on a Stewardship Programme, ‘Count Me In’, for the past six months. For ‘Count Me In’, there will be three special events designed to give all members and adherents a clearer understanding of the life of the Church and the work that goes on in the Church.
These events are being held in the Church Centre on March 13 and 14 from 7pm ‘till 9pm, and March 15 from 2pm ‘till 4pm. Following the special events, there will be two open days at the Church Centre on Friday, March 16, from 10am ‘till 4pm, and again on Saturday, March 17, from 10am ‘till noon.
It is hoped that these open days will be an opportunity for the general public to have the opportunity to view an exhibition of displays from all the organisations and groups, and their activities, that use the Church buildings.
The exhibition itself will showcase the ongoing work of the Church locally, nationally and internationally through the giving of time, talent and money.
The Auld Kirk also produces a quarterly magazine, ‘The Claik’, giving an overview of all the Church activities throughout the year, as well as highlighting events and pastoral news. Pick up your copy from the Church Centre.