Monday, 25 March 2013

Lenten Pilgrimage - 35

Today we are visiting St Paul's Church in Croachy, Strathnairn.

The congregation in Strathnairn has existed since 1688 and been in continuous existence since the Revolution, though for a long time people were compelled to worship in private dwellings during those troublous times.

A church erected at Knocknacroishaig in 1817, was burnt down in 1859. It was rebuilt by the personal efforts and workmanship of its incumbent, Archdeacon Duncan Mackenzie, affectionately known throughout the area as “Parson Duncan”. After the destruction of the church at Knocknacroishaig open air services were held under nearby Brin Rock. During his time in Strathnairn Parson Duncan farmed at Tullich to supplement his stipend.

The present church was built in 1868 on the site of the old church. The rose window, with scenes from the Life of Christ, is in memory of Parson Duncan, the Reverend Duncan Mackenzie, Archdeacon of Moray and Ross. Parson Duncan’s spurs, and some other artefacts belonging to him, are preserved in the vestry.

From 1919 onwards, St Paul’s was without its own resident priest. During this time monthly services were provided by retired priests, by the Bishop, and by Diocesan Chaplains. This all changed on Christmas Eve 1986, when the Provost of the Cathedral was instituted as Honorary Priest-in-Charge, bringing to an end a 67 year vacancy! From then onwards services were provided on a weekly basis by the clergy of the Cathedral.

History was again made in Strathnairn in 1991 when Canon Mallin took up residence in the village and was installed by the Bishop as “Resident Priest”. St Paul’s rejoiced at having it’s own resident priest again after seventy-two years!

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Hark! all the tribes Hosanna cry;
O Saviour meek, pursue Thy road
With palms and scattered garments strewed.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die!
O Christ! Thy triumph now begin
Over captive death and conquered sin.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
The wing├Ęd squadrons of the sky
Look down with sad and wondering eyes
To see the approaching sacrifice.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh;
The Father, on His sapphire throne,
Expects His own anointed Son.

Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die;
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O God, Thy power, and reign.

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