A MORAY congregation will join together to mark an historic milestone this weekend.
The Elgin and Forres Free Church, based on Elgin’s South Street, is 150 years old. The moderator of the Free Church of Scotland General Assembly, the Rev Angus Howat, will be in Elgin for the special anniversary celebrations.
Work on the building got underway in 1863, with the laying of the foundation stone in March of that year. Its architect was Alexander William Bisset, who died, aged 44, while the church was being built.
“It was officially opened in April, 1864, and it is still there,” said the church’s minister, the Rev Colin Morison. The building’s first occupants were the United Presbyterial Congregation in Elgin. It was passed into the hands of the Free Church around 1906, and has remained the local congregation’s place of worship since.
Celebrations get underway today (Saturday) with an evening meal for people associated with the church past and present. Mr Howat will speak at the gathering, and will also lead a special Sunday evening service.
It will represent a trip down memory lane for the moderator, who spent 19 years as a librarian in Elgin prior to entering the ministry. During that time, he was a member of the local congregation and went on to become an elder.
The Rev Dr John Nicholls, the former chief executive officer of London City Mission, will take part in the Sunday morning service, which starts at 11am.
Mr Morison said the congregation was looking forward to hosting its guests for the memorable weekend. Everyone is welcome to join them at the Sunday evening service, which starts at 6.30pm and will round off the celebrations.