Monifieth Parish Church A Fuller History[...]

For many years the small but growing community of Monifieth supported three kirks, even
when, after the Second World War, their congregations were gradually shrinking. By the
mid-1990s it became apparent that all regular church goers could be accommodated in
just one building under one minister. The congregations set up a team to examine if, how
and when the three churches might merge. Although entirely initiated jointly by the three
churches the task was approved and supported by the Dundee Presbytery. In May 2008
Panmure, South and St Rule’s Churches unanimously agreed to merge to form Monifieth
Parish Church.
The following review of the rich histories of each of the three churches describes how they
were founded and fostered in Monifieth.
First on the scene was St Rule or Regulus (Latin) or Riagail (Celtic) the patron saint of
Monifieth. There are two stories purporting to tell of the saint’s founding of St Rule's
Church in Monifieth.
1. Regulus was the Bishop of Patras, the Greek city where the Apostle St Andrew was
martyred. In the year 345 the Emperor Constantius led his army to Patras in a quest for
the sacred relics of Andrew. However these had been borne away by the Bishop under
divine direction.
After a very long journey, so the story goes, the Bishop’s party was
shipwrecked on the Fife coast at Muckros, later to be called Kilrymont and later still St
Regulus’s journeyings were not yet over, for legend tells of him and his
followers bearing the relics over the Tay to seek out Hungus, King of Pictland. (“Hungus”
was the origin of the present day “Angus”). Their first halt was at Monichi of Balmossie
where, as was the custom, they built a tiny chapel in which the relics had been laid.
Years later when a Columban settlement had been established in St Andrew’s, a similar
settlement was founded near the chapel and dedicated to the, by then, St Regulus. Most
historians agree that this romantic story is a myth to which little credence can be
2. There is another story that is more plausible. In the year 563 St Columba set out from
Ireland on a mission to the Western Isles and thence the mainland of Scotland. By 597,
when the great saint died, the area north of a line between what are now Glasgow and
Edinburgh was studded with Christian settlements, all recognising the Abbot of Iona as
their master. Among these settlements was St Andrews, where Columba had left one of
his companions, an Irish Monk, Riagail, to extend his work. The Latinised forms of Riagail
are Regulus or Rule. One of Rule’s initiatives was the establishment of an outpost at
Monifieth. The surrounding area was probably well populated then by the Picts as the
fortifications on the Laws and other archaeology has revealed.
Iona to St Andrews. At the beginning of the 8th century the raids of the Vikings had
resulted in the widespread destruction of abbeys and monasteries, including that of Iona
which lost its distinction and importance. The leadership of the Church moved to the
mainland, to Dunkeld and then to St Andrews. During this transfer of power the people of
Scotland – Picts, Scots, Britons and Angles - were drawn together, and the church
gradually became the Church of the nation.
After the leadership of the church had
become established in St Andrews the Bishop there became known as “The Bishop of
The Culdees. Little is known of the life of the Church during this period, the 8 th to 10th
centuries, but there appeared then the name “Culdee” or “Keledei” for the monks or
religious men. From the flimsy information available it seems that the Culdees were
effectively the monastic clergy of Scotland at that time.
Indeed, they were the only
ministers then of the Scottish Church. They lived apart from secular life in groups, usually
of 12, with a prior or abbot or provost at their head. Each monk had a cell or chamber for
himself. They conducted worship, practised charity towards the poor and spent much of
their time studying the Bible. On the whole, the Culdees seem to have been honourable
and hard working. They owed their allegiance to the Bishop of Alba in St Andrews and
had no connection with the Church of Rome.
The Church of Rome. Following the Norman Invasion of England the influence of the
Church of Rome spread northwards, and by the 12th century the Scottish Culdees were
being replaced by clergy of that persuasion. In 1178 the Scottish king, William the Lion,
founded the Abbey of Arbroath, dedicated to St Thomas a Becket. Many of the church
lands were taken out of Culdee hands and given over to the clergy of the Church of Rome.
During this period, 1201 to 1207, the Earl of Angus confirmed his father’s grant to the
Abbey at Arbroath of land in what is now Broughty Ferry. This land was to be used for the
establishment of a hospital and included “common pasturage and all other privileges
belonging to Monifieth, and my fishery which extends from the crag as far as my land
stretches towards the west.” Succeeding Earls, and even the Pope, confirmed the grant
of the Church and lands of Monifieth to the monks at Arbroath. However, the Culdees
remained in their monastery at Monifieth for about 40 years after their living had been
transferred to Arbroath. Then in 1242-1243, Matilda, Countess of Angus, issued a charter
confirming that the lands of the Abbey of Monifieth were in the hands of the Church,
specifically Nicholas, “Abbot of Monifieth”.
Parishes. By this time the whole country had been divided into parishes, the older ones
being based on the sites of earlier Celtic churches. Monifieth was one such place. The
parish embraced the four chapels of “Eglismonichty, Kingennie, Chapel Dockie and
Broughty” along with the lands round them. This probably meant an area from Barry on
the East to Broughty Ferry on the West, and from the banks of the Tay to the far side of
Monikie to the North.
Post - Reformation. At the Reformation these four chapels were abandoned and now
there are no remaining traces. The chapel at Eglismonichty stood on a knoll above the
Dighty south-east of the farm at Balmossie. The ruins of the chapel at Kingennie were in
the stockyard at Kingennie farm until 1832 but there is no trace of them now. Chapel
Dockie was near Ethiebeaton. Between 1830 and 1835 some ancient coffins with human
bones were found on a small hill there, possibly from the graveyard of the chapel. The
Broughty chapel was situated at the foot of the present day Church Street, and the
graveyard there existed up to the middle of the 1800s. Now buildings cover the whole site.
The Knights Templar. To the north of Monifieth, near Cunmont, there are still two
properties, the names of which - Templelands and Temple Hall - suggest that there was
another religious order thereabouts, probably with connections to the Abbey of Monifieth.
Certainly the now defunct Cunmont Estate was in the hands of Knights Templar, a
monkish order of knights between the 12th and 14th centuries.
Monifieth. The origin of the name, “Monifieth”, may stem from two Gaelic words,
“monaich” meaning monks and “fother”, land, since the Columba and Culdee monks ruled
the area for many years. Alternatively, the Gaelic “monadh feidh”, “the hill of the deer” is
a possibility. It is of note that the coat of arms of the former burgh features both a hill and
deer. Another less probable attribution is the Gaelic for “lower moor” which is what the
present town’s area looks like when viewed from the vicinity of Monikie. Whatever, the
town’s name has been spelt in many quaint ways over the years, including:
1200 Monifod
1525 Monyfwyth
1242 Munifeit
1602 Monifuoch
1322 Monyfieth
1692 Minnyfeith.
The present St Rule’s church building is the second one to be built on the site. The
previous building was pre-Reformation and was demolished in 1812 to make way for the
present larger, but perhaps less aesthetically pleasing, one. The sketches on the following
page show the appearance and layout of the old church.
The main door was in the tower and was several feet below ground level, perhaps due to
subsidence or to the accumulation of soil round the tower. Part of the gallery or “Laft”
belonged to the fishermen of Broughty Ferry who suspended a model of a full-rigged ship
from the roof. The front of the gallery was panelled and painted. Two of the panels
depicted a compass and quadrant, and there was a representation of Neptune with his
trident. The aisle ceiling was painted blue and studded with gold stars to represent the
heavens. The tower was 36 feet high, the middle part being “boxed for doos” which
belonged to the minister. Along the North wall of the choir was a large monument for the
Durham family, erected about 1600. Part of this monument is built into the East gable of
the present building.
Several sculptured stones formed part of the pre-Reformation Church.
Following its
demolition some of these stones were incorporated in the structure of the new building, but
probably many others were used in buildings in the parish. Following an examination of
the church stones in 1864 it was agreed that they be removed and presented to the
Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh for more detailed examination and safe keeping.
Expert opinion was that stones dated from the period between the 7 th and 9th centuries.
The group of the stones bearing carved symbols including a comb, crescent, sceptre and
indicated Pictish influence in the area. Others stones, with carvings showing Saints John
and Mary with the crucified Christ, and King David playing a harp, confirmed the existence
of an early Celtic Church in Monifieth. The new church was remodelled in 1871 and was
gifted a clock in 1914. The bell, cast in 1565 is reputed to have come from a French or
Spanish Armada ship.
In the Middle Ages and well after the Reformation the church was not only a place of
worship but also a place of refuge, the sanctuary area or “Girth” being marked by four
crosses usually about forty paces from the churchyard. Over time the “Girths” attracted
Ale Houses. Monifieth’s was just across today’s Church Street.
The great reformer, George Wishart, who preached in Dundee only a few miles away, was
probably a significant influence on the Kirk in Monifieth. More influential would have been
the most important man in the area, Durham of Grange, a keen Protestant and a near
relation of John Erskine of Dun who was the Protestant Superintendent of Angus and a
frequent visitor to Grange. Even more important was the great man himself, John Knox,
who spent a great deal of time with Erskine and often visited Grange at Monifieth.
Monifieth Parish Church Ministers
The first minister of the parish after the Reformation was Gilbert Gardyne who also had the
parish of Monikie under his charge. In 1569 he was translated to Fordyce and two years
later he became Moderator of the General Assembly. Gardyne owned the lands of Boath
in the parish of Carmylie, and in 1592 he married Isibel Strachan of Carmylie “in the face
and presence of the visible Kirk of God.”
The 27 ministers from Gardyne to the present decade are listed at Annex A. They include
several of outstanding interest:
George Wishart served from 1624 to 1626. During this period the church was
repaired incorporating stone from the ruined Abbey of Balmerino. Later Wishart
became chaplain to the great Marquis of Montrose, and later still he became Bishop
of Edinburgh when he held the Great Seal of Scotland and for a short time was
Chancellor of the Realm. He died in 1671 and was buried within the kirk of Holyrood
James Gerard Young served the kirk and community in Monifieth for 44 years
from 1855 until his death in 1899.
During his remarkable ministry he was the
inspiration and driving force for three of the largest buildings in Monifieth:
1. The school in Maule Street was built when he was Chairman of the Monifieth
School Board,
2. The Gerard Hall: in 1879, when St Andrew’s University conferred on Young
the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, the parishioners took the
opportunity to make a presentation to him. A bachelor, he used the money
as the nucleus of a fund for the erection of the Gerard Hall in 1882, the total
cost of which was £2,000.
3. The Gerard Hospital, now St Mary’s Home, was opened in 1902, three years
after his death, the money coming from the estate left by Young to found a
hospital for the people of the Burgh.
Gordon Quig began his notable ministry in 1922. In 1929, at the Union of the
Churches, when the South and Panmure United Free Churches were admitted
into the Church of Scotland, it was Quig who suggested resuming the ancient
name of St Rule’s for the Parish Church. Later it was his persistence that
persuaded the people who had the precious and venerable Monifieth
Communion Cups in their possession to return them to the Parish. In a sermon
he preached in March 1938 the Rev Quig linked the acquisition of the Monifieth
Communion Cup of 1638 with the National Covenant of that year. (The story is
detailed at Annex B). He retired to Edinburgh where he died in March 1946.
The history of Presbyterianism in Scotland is peppered with schisms and separations. The
most notable of these was in 1843, the year of the “Disruption”, when over a third of the
clergy and people broke away the Church of Scotland. One of the ministers concerned
was Samuel Miller of Monifieth Parish Church who, like nearly 500 others, gave up his
manse, stipend and economic security for what he believed were true Christian principles.
A well-known churchman of the day wrote in a letter that “the great body of the people
here have followed Mr Miller out of the Church....”
Miller and those who “went out” became a congregation of the Free Church of Scotland.
As they were refused land on which to build a church they constructed a wooden “tent”
with a tarred roof in a remote corner of the parish, and there they worshipped for four
years until a church was built at Kingennie. This building was popularly known as “The
Hillock” then Monifieth North. Later it united with the parish of Newbigging. For 26 years
the Free Church folk in Monifieth had to worship there or in Broughty Ferry, walking the 2
to 3 miles each way in all weathers each Sunday.
The building in the High Street now known as the Small Hall was erected by the Monifieth
Free Church in 1858. In 1869 the Free Church Presbytery was asked to sanction a
Preaching Station in Monifieth.
This was granted “in consideration of the great and
continuous increase of the population of the village” and the people’s eagerness to have,
at last, a place of worship in Monifieth. The Small Hall then became the site of the
Preaching Station, services being conducted by young probationers for two years until
1871 when the Free Church General Assembly made the station a full ministerial charge.
The first minister, Robert McGregor, who had been one of the probationers, became
conspicuous in the building of a new Free Church in Monifieth. He was a familiar figure in
the High Street in Dundee on market days going from man to man with his subscription
book. As one old man aptly put it, “He just gaed intae their pooches and took what he
wantit.” Land was gifted by the Earl of Dalhousie, and the congregation gave freely of
their labour and equipment which greatly reduced the cost and time of the construction of
the new church building. It was competed in 1872 at a cost of just £1,000. The first
Communion Roll consisted of 92 members and by the opening of the church it had
increased to 130. From then on the church was called the “Free South” to distinguish it
from the “Free North” as “The Hillock” was by then known.
Over the years, the South (Free) Church has been progressively enhanced. When first
constructed the church building had no gallery, tower or transepts. The wooden turret on
the roof collapsed in a storm and was replaced in 1879 by the present stone belfry, the bell
therein being purchased from a shipyard for £3. That bell is still in use. The gallery and
bell-tower were incorporated in 1884 at a cost of £474, and twenty years later the
transepts were added at a cost of £1,000. The manse was built in 1874 at a cost of £850,
£664 of which was raised by a bazaar in the Kinnaird Hall in Dundee. The Small Hall was
purchased from the North Church in 1891 for £200, and in 1909 the Large Hall was added
costing £1,200. In 1959 £1,200 was spent on refurbishment, and seven years later the
church was treated to a £4,000 revamp: the organ was renovated and the console resited,
woodwork was lightened in colour, the chancel area redesigned and, by means of
generous donations, refurnished with a red carpet, a beautiful communion table, lectern,
and chairs for the minister, elders and choir. New lighting and red floor covering and seat
cushioning further brightened the sanctuary. The total cost was £4,000. In 1970 the new
£3,550 Centenary Hall, attached to the church building, was dedicated.
The South Church Ministers
The Free South membership gained steadily in numerical strength and vitality under the
leadership of a succession of outstanding ministers with remarkably long tenures.
 The first minister, Robert McGregor, 1871 to 1877, was succeeded in 1878 by
Crawford Smith who served for 45 years, until 1923.
With his sincerity,
personality, diligence and Christian devotion be was admired, respected and
trusted by the whole community. He was Chairman of the School Board in
Monifieth from 1882 to 1919, and served as Clerk to the United Free Presbytery
of Dundee for 13 years.
 Neil Cameron became the minister in 1923 and served for 35 years. During his
ministry, in 1929, the union of the United Free Church and the Church of
Scotland took place and the South Free Church became Monifieth South
Church (although, confusingly, it is North of St Rule’s!). Cameron had been
wounded during the Great War and his experiences enhanced his wisdom as a
counsellor. He was noted for his kindliness, faithfulness, academic ability,
knowledge of literature and deep concern for the welfare of people.
congregational record noted that “He was a grand man with a wonderful sense
of humour.”
The fourth, final and longest serving minister of South Church was the Rev
Donald Fraser. He was inducted in 1959 and, as recounted below, he was still
in post when South Church united with Panmure and St Rule’s in 2008 to form
Monifieth Parish Church. He retired on 31 October 2010 after a remarkable
and distinguished tenure of some 51 years, probably a record for the Church of
In 1847 the Relief and Secession Churches, which had been among the dissenting
churches, formed a union under the denomination of the United Presbyterians (UP) which
in turn subsequently joined with the Free Church to form the United Free Church. For
many years the nearest UP church was at Newbigging but when more UP members came
to live in Monifieth the need for a church to serve them there became stronger.
Accordingly, in 1897, the Kirk Session of Newbigging Church proposed that their second
service each Sunday should be held in Monifieth as a first stage in establishing another
Free Church in the town.
Although discussions between the Free Church and the UP were at an advanced stage it
was the view of both the congregation and the Presbytery that there was ample scope for
a third Presbyterian church in the burgh. The first meetings of those of the UP persuasion
in Monifieth were held in the kitchen of “Cluoranbut" in Panmure Street but following the
decision of the Newbigging Kirk Session the venue for services were switched to the
Erskine Female School in Brook Street. This was designated a Preaching Station, the
first Communion Service being held on 13 February 1898. The building is now a hall of St
Bride’s RC Church.
The members were fired with enthusiasm and raised £900, sufficient to build a church
which was opened on 7 June 1899, and the Station was raised to the status of a
congregation. The new church was built to the rear of a plot of land in Panmure Street
leaving ample space that the congregation confidently envisaged would be required for a
larger church in the future. Their foresight was rewarded when 37 years later the present
church was built, its entire cost, £4,000, having been raised before the work began. The
design was entrusted to a local architect, T Lindsay Gray. The story goes that on 30
August 1936 the workmen completing the build were leaving by the back door as the
congregation entered by the front for the official dedication service! As envisaged, the old
Church became the Hall.
The Panmure Church Ministers
Since the present church opened it has been served by just five ministers:
At the time of the dedication in 1936 the minister was the Rev James K
Cassels. He left only the following year having received a call to another
church. He was followed by:
The Rev John Begg who served until his retirement in 1948.
The Rev Harry Gibson was then inducted in 1949. He retired in 1965.
There was then two years of uncertainty when Panmure was not allowed
to call another minister. Eventually permission was granted but only if the
new incumbent was over 60 years of age. The Rev Mackenzie Jack was
inducted in 1967 and his ministry saw the greatest activity and expansion in
Panmure’s history. Ill health forced the Rev Jack to retire in the Spring of
Again there was a reluctance to permit the calling of a new minister, but
perhaps because of the demonstrable vigour and enthusiasm of the
congregation, permission was eventually granted without restrictions. In
1974 the Rev David Jamieson was welcomed to Panmure Church and
served there until, as recounted above, Panmure merged with South and St
Rule's. He then became one of the Ministerial Team of the new unified
Monifieth Parish Church with the Revs Dorothy Anderson and Donald
Fraser. David Jamieson followed the latter into retirement on 24 April 2011
having given 37 years devoted and distinguished service to the church and
community in Monifieth.
As the second millennium advanced the population of Monifieth increased. Yet, as with
other communities and churches experiencing the increasing secularisation of society
throughout Scotland, and despite the substantial numbers on their respective
congregational rolls, the attendances at the services in Monifieth’s three Churches of
Scotland continued to dwindle. There was also concern that in the near future all three of
the incumbent ministers would be due to retire. It was not surprising therefore, that a local
view developed that there would be advantages in merging the three congregations into
one kirk in Monifieth. Such a move towards union would anticipate the involvement of the
Presbytery or the General Assembly.
Accordingly, towards the end of 2002 the three
churches set up a Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) to determine how best to:
Introduce new and exciting ways of worship and Christian education.
Exploit the financial and building resources available.
Provide creative responses to the challenge of providing ministry in Monifieth.
Merge the three churches while respecting their individual traditions.
As a step towards these goals joint Sunday services were held during the summer months
and proved popular. Protracted, and sometimes intense, deliberations continued in the
JSC over the next few years. Then, in 2006, and following advice from the officers of the
General Assembly, a ballot of members of the three churches was held. Although the
numbers responding were disappointingly low, of those who did vote there was an
overwhelming majority in each of the three churches in favour of union.
Following further discussions it was agreed that a Basis of Union document should be
drawn up by a specially formed committee replacing the JSC. The document that was
compiled proposed, in summary, that:
The three churches would unite as Monifieth Parish Church.
Representatives of the office bearers of each church would form a working
group to designate a principal place of worship, following a comprehensive
survey and evaluation of all church properties.
Property not designated for use by the united congregation would be
considered for other parish related activities or disposal subject to the approval
of the Presbytery and the General Trustees of the General Assembly.
The united charge would elect a minister as part of the ministry team until the
Revs Donald Fraser and David Jamieson retired.
At least initially, the manse of St Rule's would be the manse of the united
congregation. The office bearers would consider the future use of the three
The Rev Roy Massey, the then minister of St Rules, decided to retire in August 2007 when
he reached his normal retirement date.
This prompted earlier deadlines for the
deliberations of the BUC.
The Basis of Union was endorsed by the respective Kirk
Sessions and Congregational Boards, and on Sunday 23 September 2008 presented to
the three congregations for approval.
All three voted unanimously in favour of its
adoption, and it was subsequently submitted to the Church of Scotland Ministries Council
via the Presbytery for implementation.
On Monday 24 September the BUC, having
completed its work, was wound up with its final recommendations to take forward to
progress the process of union:
An over-arching Union Steering Committee should be established under the
Interim Moderator of St Rule's to oversee the detailed progress towards Union.
Working groups would be set up to tackle matters of detail, eg finance, education,
church organisations, etc.
A Buildings Committee would also be established to consider the issues relating
to the church properties and to recommend a plan for their use or disposal.
The target date for the Service of Union would be Wednesday 7 May 2008 with
the first service of the new united congregation on Sunday 11 May 2008 (later
postponed to Sunday 25 May and 1 June respectively).
As these committees continued their work, the united congregation continued to meld
comfortably, the Sunday services being held in four-month periods in each of the three
previous churches and conducted by either or both the ministers. The Kirk Session and
Congregational Board supervised the evolvement and standardisation of the processes
and practices of the three previous churches and the Steering Committee encouraged
their multifarious organisations to co-ordinate and combine. The Buildings Committee
continued its deliberations, arranging surveys and evaluations of all the church properties,
and examining the possibilities of innovative facilities such as visual aids.
In accordance with the Basis of Union, a new body, the Nominating Committee, sought a
third member of the Ministry Team to join the Revs Donald Fraser (formerly South Church)
and David Jamieson (formerly Panmure Church) until their retirement in the near future.
The Rev Dorothy Anderson preached as the Sole Nominee in the former St Rule's on
Sunday 8 February 2009 and was enthusiastically and unanimously elected by the large
congregation who had turned out to hear her. She was inducted to the charge by the
Presbytery of Dundee on 6 May 2009 when she was warmly welcomed by the
congregation and her two colleagues.
The new Monifieth Parish Church’s united congregation continues to draw ever closer
together. The Kirk Session and Congregational Board have operated efficiently and
moves have been made to combine them into one comprehensive body to use better the
talents and time of their members and to facilitate inter-communication. The various
church organisations have prospered and as a contribution to our communications and
outreach a new monthly newssheet, “Impact”, has proved useful and popular. So too has
the website that was launched in November 2010 and is being developed further.
The Buildings Committee has continued its work. The property assets of the three former
churches and their legal status have been researched, and all the properties, including the
manses, have been inspected, surveyed and valued. Other churches that have been
renovated and had innovative equipment, such as visual aids, installed have been visited.
Four possible models for an adapted or new church were drawn up.
In considering the future permanent home of Monifieth Parish Church, a major problem
emerged. When the South (Free) Church was established in the mid-1800s, the Panmure
Estate of the Earl of Dalhousie gifted the land exclusively for religious purposes. This
stipulation precluded the disposal of the South Church if that turned out to be the wish of
the members of the new unified church. After protracted and involved negotiations, the
Panmure Estate agreed to remove the stipulation following the payment of an agreed sum.
On 28 November 2010, the Rev Donald Fraser retired after a tenure of some 51 years in
Monifieth, probably a record for the Church of Scotland. On 24 April 2011 his longtime
colleague, the Rev David Jamieson also retired after a dedicated 37 years in Monifieth.
However, he will continue to serve the Church as the first incumbent of a new position,
Pastoral Assistant to the Rev Dorothy Anderson.
This new post was established in
recognition of the very demanding pastoral load on the one parish minister serving the
Parish Church and community of Monifieth.
The process of weighing the various issues affecting the decisions on which buildings to
retain and which are eligible for disposal has taken far longer than initially expected, to the
frustration of ministers and congregation alike. Nevertheless, there has been general
acceptance that it was more important to arrive at the right decisions rather than reaching
a hurried conclusion. Moreover, before the practicalities of the buildings issues could be
determined, it was necessary to define what the buildings were to be used for. It was
crucial to map the way ahead, to determine a vision of our Church up to 2025 at least.
Advice was sought and a selected team was formed to delve into these critical philosophic
At the time of writing, it is anticipated that the crucial decisions will be made some time as
Spring gives way to Summer.
Whatever, the chosen buildings will require timeconsuming and possibly costly modifications and improvements to make them fit for the
future, for our minister and the larger congregations we aim to attract. So, enriched by
our history, we can view our exciting future with confidence, as our Christian commitment
in Monifieth continues with undiminished vigour.
If readers have got this far, I hope that they will agree that the story of our church is worthy
of being placed on record. It is for this reason that it is being included in our Web pages
so that it is accessible to the members of our congregation as well as to the wider public.
Much of this document I have extracted from the uncopyrighted “Our Churches’ Story –
1400 Years in Monifieth” that was prepared for the 1400 Centenary Celebration of our
community. To augment that splendid pamphlet I have enjoyed the wise counsel of David
Jones and the generosity and compendious knowledge of the Rev Donald Fraser.
However, all the errors and omissions are mine alone.
If anyone out there can correct or add to this history to enhance it, I would welcome their
Bill Milne
25 April 2011
Monifieth Parish Church Ministers - 1563 to 2007
The National Covenant and the Monifieth Communion Cup of 1638
1565 to 1569
Gilbert Gardyne
First Protestant Minister
1569 to 1574
Andrew Clayhills
1576 to 1616
Andrew Auchinleck
1616 to 1617
Andrew Clayhills
1617 to 1624
Patrick Durham
1624 to 1626
George Wishart
Consecrated Bishop of Edinburgh 1662
1626 to 1632
John Rutherford
Died 1632
1632 to 1648
Andrew Wood
Died 1648
1649 to 1675
John Barclay
Oath to Charles II, so becoming Episcopalian, 1662Died 1675
Again! Died 1617
1710 to 1738
John Ballantyne
“Probably the most remarkable Minister Monifieth
ever had”. Remained steadfastly Episcopalian. Died 1708
Died 1738
1739 to 1762
William Dall
Died 1762
1763 to 1787
James Henderson
Died 1787
1787 to 1829
William Johnstone
Present church built during his tenure
1816 to 1835
John Bisset
1835 to 1843
Samuel Miller
1843 to 1853
Alexander Todd
1853 to 1855
Peter Myles
Died 1855
1855 to 1899
James Gerard Young
Very influential: instigated Gerard Hall and Gerard Hospital
(now St Mary’s). Died1899
1900 to 1921
David Duthie McClaren
1922 to 1943
Gordon Quig
1943 to 1948
John Howatt
1949 to 1962
Gordon Fraser
1963 to 1969
Duncan Finlayson
1970 to 1992
Tom Milroy
1992 to 1998
Stephen Smith
1998 to 2007
Roy Massie
1676 to 1708 John Dempster
“Came out” at the disruption to form
Monifieth Free Church congregation
In 1929 he initiated renaming of Parish Church with the
ancient title of “St Rules”
Died 1962
A summary of the sermon preached by the Rev Gordon Quig BD
in St Rule's Parish Church in March 1938.
We have nothing on the Communion Table today except the old Cup. It is the most precious thing
in Monifieth Parish and perhaps the most beautiful. Fashioned by the Edinburgh silversmith, John
Smith, it is a plain, shallow bowl supported by a high baluster stem resting on a circular foot. It
seems to be modelled on a 16thor 17th C tazza and the stem of an English wine-cup of the times of
James or Charles. Engraved on the bowl is a shield of arms surmounted by a cherub’s head; a
fesse charged with three mullets impaling a lion rampant, with a bordure of eleven buckles. The
arms are those of Durham impaling those of Auchterlonie. Above the arms are two labels bearing
the names of William Durham and Jean Auchterlonie who were husband and wife and proprietors
of the Estate of Grange, Monifieth. Surrounding the coat of arms is an inscription engraved in
large Roman letters:
The same donors presented the companion cup, dated 1642, that is equally lovely, but the 1638
Cup is the more significant because of the date it bears: the long-running struggle in the 17thC for
religious liberty in Scotland reached a climax in that year.
The previous year Charles I had set about amending the Scottish Liturgy by imposing Episcopalian
styles of worship without the sanction of the Scottish Parliament or the General Assembly. On
Sunday 23 July 1637 the new Prayer Book was read in St Giles. The riot that ensued, a sudden
outburst of popular indignation, was the beginning of a revolution. The fervent reaction was the
drawing up of a National Covenant pledged to “to adhere to and defend the true religion”. It was
publicly adopted on 28 February 1638 in Greyfriars Kirk and soon the members of every kirk
congregation throughout the land had signed the pledge, culminating in its wholesale adoption as
the National Covenant.
The King realised that he had raised a storm and offered to withdraw the Service Book and the
Canons, but it was too late. The movement had become a revolt against the Episcopal form of
Church government in Scotland. In November 1638 a Covenanting Assembly met in Glasgow
It defied the Lord High Commissioner, deposed the Bishops and repealed the
legislation by which James VI and Charles I had sought to establish Episcopacy. This Assembly
was attended by the Provost of Dundee, probably accompanied by the Minister of Monifieth who
was also a Commissioner to the Assembly. With the Church’s insistence upon the freedom and
value of the individual, these events marked the rise of democracy in Scotland.
During the Civil War that ensued both Cups were entrusted to the Laird of Ardownie. They
remained in his custody for over thirty years and were only recovered by the Kirk Session in 1679
after a long process of negotiations and threats by the Church authorities including Archbishop
Sharp of St Andrews. In 1825 they were alienated from the Church again by the Rev John Bisset
who handed them over to William Maule, afterwards Lord Panmure in exchange for four modern
cups. The two precious cups were lost to the Church until 1922 when the then Lord Roseberry
generously returned the 1638 Cup. Its companion, the 1642 Cup, was bought back from the Rev
Dr Jackson, rector of Exeter College Oxford, for £75.
Related flashcards

Building materials

37 cards

Architectural styles

23 cards


31 cards


30 cards

Modern art

32 cards

Create Flashcards