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History of the Parish of Banchory-Devenick
Cults Mission Church


Owing to the rapid increase in the population of Cults, and the long distance residenters, in the western portion of the parish lying on the north side of the river, had to walk to Banchory-Devenick Parish Church, a desire began to manifest itself during the latter years of Dr. Paul’s ministry for the erection of a mission station or chapel of ease at Cults, in which evening service and Sunday school classes connected with the Church of Scotland could be held. Nothing, however, was done in the matter till after the Reverend William Lawrence had been appointed assistant and successor to Dr. Paul in December, 1881. The subject was then taken up heartily, and, with the aid of grants from the Baird Trust, and Home Mission Committee, a fund of over 500 was speedily guaranteed for defraying the cost of erecting a Mission Hall.

The Presbytery of the bounds and Kirk-Session of the parish, on being consulted, gave their approval to the scheme, and the Hall was erected on a convenient site on Gateside Croft, quite close to the turnpike road. The title to the feu, extending to about an acre, was taken from the proprietor of Cults, in favour of trustees “for behoof of the Church of Scotland in all time coming.” The building, which is of rough ashlar stone, and slated, is handsome and commodious. It was formally opened for evening service in August, 1883, by Mr. Lawrence minister of the parish.

The managers of the hall had previously entered into an arrangement with Mr. Lawrence, under which he undertook to preach each alternate Sunday, the services on the other Sundays being provided by them at their own expense. From the outset the services were well attended; as also were the Sunday school classes. Towards the end of 1886 the worshippers, including many residenters in the east end of Peterculter who were distant upwards of two miles from their parish church, approached the trustees and managers with a view to double services being conducted, and a minister of their own selection appointed to the charge. Consequently, in March, 1887, it was resolved by the managers to petition the Presbytery to sanction the “formation of the Cults Mission Hall into a Mission Church to be called the Church of Cults ”.

With the expected aid of a yearly grant from the Home Mission Committee of the Church, an annual stipend of not less than 100 was guaranteed for the missionary. The district asked to be assigned to the new church was a small part of the east end of Peterculter, and practically the whole of the north side of Banchory-Devenick not already included in the quoad sacra parishes of Craigiebuckler and Mannofield. The Kirk-Session of the parish opposed this scheme as premature and calculated to cripple the efficiency of the parish church, but the

Presbytery, after deliberating upon the respective pleas of parties, granted the crave of the petitioners.

The Rev. Charles S. Christie, who had been educated at the University of St. Andrews, at which he graduated in 1880, and who had, for some time after license, acted as assistant to the Rev. Dr. Cowan in New Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, was unanimously appointed to the charge. Accordingly, since the second Sunday of 1888, double services have been given in the mission church. Continued success has attended the ministerial labours of Mr. Christie, and, as the Presbytery gave him ordination in June, 1888, he is thereby enabled to discharge all the functions of a parish minister. There are upwards of eighty communicants on the roll, and the income for 1888 was 184 4s. 10d., the special collections for the schemes of the church representing 20 15s. 7d. In the autumn of 1889 a lady member of the congregation presented to the church two massive silver cups — each inscribed Cults—for use at the communion services.


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