Conon Bridge Places

Ferintosh Church, early photo, courtesy of Tony Innes. 

Ferintosh Manse possibly in 1920s.  Rev J Izzat Johnstone in foreground.  Photo courtesy of Donald Macleod Jnr.


Ferintosh Church of Scotland, Conon Bridge.

This church, built in 1909, stands within the Parish of Ferintosh, formerly known as the Parish of Urquhart and Logie Wester.

"Logie" in Gaelic means "valley or hollow" and in the valley of the River Conon there was a small township adjacent to the present Conon House. The township church was known as Logie Wester to distinguish it from Logie in Easter Ross.

Near to Conon House can be found the foundations of Logie Wester Church, now overgrown, but calculated to be 66 ft by 50 ft.  It was stone built, would have been thatched with heather and had a loft added, probably in the 17th century.  

Sometime before 1490 the Parishes of Urquhart and Logie Wester were united and by the mid 17th century the original Logie Wester Church was finding it hard to compete with the more centrally situated Urquhart Church.  In 1749-50 the Urquhart Church was rebuilt and enlarged as a result of which the church at Logie became disused and was in ruins by 1792.  The rebuilt Urquhart Church of 1749 was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire forty years later.  Its successor, also called Urquhart Church, was built nearby and opened in 1795. 

The building of a bridge over the River Conon in 1810 led to the establishing of the village of Conon Bridge, further enhanced by the arrival of the railway in 1863.  The Rev Walter Macquarrie became minister of Urquhart in 1891 and, that year, he began fortnightly evening services in Conon School.  He saw the need for a "Mission Church" in the village and this was achieved by July 1906.

The Mission Church continued until 1961 when union with the former United Free Church of Ferintosh and Maryburgh took place and the united congregation took the name of Ferintosh.  
 

Ferintosh Parish Church Centenary



FOREWORD

'Lord you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations ...' (Psalm 90:1)
Whenever we come to mark any centenary, it is perhaps almost inevitable that we find ourselves at something of a crossroads, looking both backward and forward. Poised as we are at this milestone in time, it is maybe easier for most of us to look backward, given that this is where our memories and experiences lie. As we consider where we are today, so much of our life here and now can only be presented by referring to what has gone before.

This booklet aims to recollect the life and times of our church here in our community; however, not only to look at how these recollections have shaped who and what we are today, but also how they might enable us to shape the life of our church here in the future.

It takes us through the history of the church in terms of its buildings, its ministers, its worship and its place within the community, and ends with all that is happening within the life of our church today. An appropriate way perhaps to end such a booklet, leaving scope and opportunity to look to the future as we seek to build on what we already have in place.

This is only the first chapter in the life of Ferintosh Parish Church. By the grace of God and through the inspiration and guidance of His Holy Spirit there will be many more to follow. We invite you now to become part of the next chapter of the life of our church as we look to the future, giving thanks for all that has gone before, and looking forward with eager anticipation to all that is yet to come.

With Every Blessing,

Andy Graham


INTRODUCTION

Attempting to compile a history of Ferintosh Church has proved to be enjoyable and frustrating. Enjoyable because of the co-operation of so many people but frustrating in that access to certain records has not been achieved, thus leading to a history that is not as comprehensive as it should be. It is particularly exasperating not to have a photograph of the opening of the Church in 1909.

I have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible in this account and apologise if there are errors.

Of acknowledgments there are many and those who are named know how they helped:

The family of the late Charles W Muirden for permission to use extracts from his book Maryburgh Church: A History of 150 years.
Rev Douglas MacKeddie
Gail Priddice of the Reference Section and Alex du Toit of the Archive Section, Inverness Library
Rev Roddie Mackinnon
Mrs Kitty Bennett, niece of Rev Malcolm Maclean
Mr Calum Maclean, nephew of Rev Malcolm Maclean
Mrs Marion Macdonald, sister of Rev D R Macleod
Donald Macleod, son of Rev D R Macleod
Rev T C Kelly
Rev D J M Carmichael
Rev A F Graham
The Ross-shire Journal and The North Star for reporting so faithfully on the work of the Church over many years.
Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society for the use of superior computer equipment which made the task so much easier.

Mhairi Mackenzie
September 2009 

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
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