Invitation to Rev. William Dobbie to take up post of Pastor at Castle Hill U.F. Church, Forres
Scope and Contents
The blocked title states: 'Call / to the Rev. William Dobbie / by Castlehill United Free Church / Forres / August 6th 1907
Language of Materials
Biographical / Historical
For the origins of Castlehill U. F. Church, we have to look at events of 1733 when the First (or original) Secession saw members leave the Church of Scotland as a protest against the system of Patronage, by which a minister was appointed to a congregation on presentation by a landowner. A congregation was founded in 1768, when a group in Forres joined the Secession Movement. The first church was built at the north end of Batchen Street, Forres. It had various names over time: United Secession; United Presbyterian; and, United Free. The foundation stone of the Castlehill Church was laid on September 22, 1870, and it was opened and dedicated on November 26, 1871, with building costs of £3,000.
In 1900, the United Presbyterian and the Free Churches united to form the United Free Church of Scotland. This meant that there were two U.F. Churches in Forres, and each had to take a distinctive name. It was at that point that it was named Castlehill, from the site on which it stood, and the other became the High Church. In 1902 the Town Council presented the freedom of the burgh to Lord Strathcona in Castlehill Church. In 1903 James MacDougall Black became the minister and remained until 1907. Dr Black was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland for the year 1938-1939.
Two outbreaks of dry-rot, in 1902 and in 1946, meant that extensive and expensive work was necessary, and this was paid for by the congregation and by generous donations from Lord and Lady Strathcona and Andrew Carnegie.
When the Rev. David Leslie Scott, Minister of Forres Castlehill Church, retired on 30 June 1972 the church was closed and the charge united with Forres High Church under the name of Forres St Leonard’s. The former Castlehill Church was sold to the Forres Parish Church of St. Laurence and became its church halls. After a protracted period of refurbishment, it was eventually opened and dedicated on September 5, 1976. Dry-rot however can never be eradicated completely and some thirty years after the last repair the rot had reached such as state that it became beyond the economic means of the congregation of the Parish Church of St. Laurence. The building was finally sold on 30 June 2006, which was 34-years after the building was closed as a church.
1 cylinder, containing roll
- Invitation to Rev. William Dobbie (1881-1946) to take up the post at Castle Hill United Free Church, Forres, Scotland
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