Growth

Mr Callendar’ ministry came to an end on 1st August 1857.  Rev  John Mansfield now became minister of the Church.

Mrs Shirreff died in September 1860.  However, her daughter, Miss Mary Shirreff, continued to serve the Church for many years.

Rev. Alex. McDougall

Mr Mansfield died very suddenly in July 1865 at the early age of 39.  Rev. Alex McDougall was his successor, but after just four years he felt that he was called to minister to his fellow gaelic-speakers in the Highlands and Islands.

The longest ministry in the Church’s history came next.  Rev Samuel Crabb was called to the pastorate in September 1869; he preached for the last time a few months short of fifty years later, on 26th January 1919.

Records of the Church’s early years are scanty, but are better from 1876 on. At the beginning of 1876 membership stood at 40, eleven of these having been added during 1875.  By the end of 1879 membership had increased to 65 (perhaps stimulated by Mr Spurgeon’s visit of 1878).

Rev. Samuel Crabb

By 1881 the church membership stood at 70, although attendances could be much larger than this, especially in the summer months.  So between 1882 and 1884 the church building was extensively renovated, and extended 12 feet towards the road; a gallery, and baptistery were also installed and the pulpit and seating replaced.  The total cost of this work was £920.  Membership continued to increase and stood at 99 by the end of 1889, with 60 children attending the Sunday school.  Further repairs to the walls of the building were undertaken that year.

In 1891 two changes to the church’s services took place.  Up till then singing of psalms and hymns had been led by a precentor.  Now the decision was taken to accompany singing with an organ.  The instrument was purchased, an organist appointed and a choir was also formed.  At this time also the service regularly held on Sunday afternoon was moved to Sunday evening.

 

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