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Church 2

Some history of the church in Ferryden

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Rev. Dr James Brewster

Before 1843 Ferryden had no church. The people were expected to walk two miles up to to Craig Parish Church which they were loath to do.


Dr Brewster, became the minister of Craig Church in 1804.  He tried to persuade the Ferryden villagers to come to church but was met with excuses such as, the men had work to do on the boats and the woman had no church clothes.

He persevered by preaching outdoors and in sheds and later fitted out a small cottage in Rossie Square (later called the Bethel) and meetings there were well attended.

This continued until 1843 when the ‘Disruption’ at the General assembly took place, with 450 ministers leaving the established church to form the Free Church of Scotland. This was a reaction to the system of patronage, whereby the laird of the land where the church was situated, appointed the minister, without the congregation.  ​Dr Brewster was one of those who walked out in faith, giving up his church, manse and living at Craig Parish, and moving to Ferryden village.

A new church, constructed of Scurdie Rock, was built after the 1843 Disruption for the Free Church, up Usan Road on ground belonging to Usan Estates, but when it was discovered that on Dr Brewster's death, the ground plus the building would return to the estate, the villagers were given another piece of ground by Horatio Ross (godson of Admiral Horatio Nelson).  This was situated in what is now Church Road.  The Fishermen's Church as some still know it, was dismantled and rebuilt at a cost  of £600, paid for by the fishermen giving a share of their catch to the church. 

On his death in 1847, Dr Brewster was buried in the small graveyard on the coast at Usan, overlooking Elephant Rock, with his inscription now badly worn but still just decipherable.

Words taken from an article by the late Tommy Easton

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