Today we find ourselves at St Andrew's Church, which is located on Manse Street in Tain.
In 1877 Episcopalians in the area began to hold services in Tain Town Hall.
A year later “an iron church, calculated for 70 people,” was built “at a cost of £179:18:00”. It opened on September 17th, 1878. This temporary church was replaced by the present church, built in 1887 by local craftsmen, using local stone, to a design by Ross and Macbeth of Inverness. The ‘temporary’ iron clad church was moved to Brora in Sutherland and is still in use as an Episcopal Church of this Diocese!
The Rectory, which adjoins the church, was built in 1898 to a design by Alexander Ross.
Much of the woodwork in the church is by Robert Thomson of Yorkshire whose characteristic trade-mark is the mouse. The St Andrew’s ‘mice’ have been described as “running everywhere “, and the very observant spotter will notice seven of them altogether, hiding on the Lectern, the Pulpit, the Altar Rail, and on the woodwork behind the high altar itself. (Similar mice can also be spotted in Pluscarden Abbey, near Elgin, and in my own home - where there are six of them altogether!)
The nave altar was designed and carved from American oak in 1995 by Peter Bailey, a retired architect who lives on the Isle of Skye. It was a gift to St Andrew’s from Miss Kathleen Montgomery, Organist of the church, in memory of her parents, Canon William Montgomery (Rector from 1935-47) and Mrs Montgomery.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.