Church - a building full of history!
The Church in Reay is a historic building. It was built in 1739, is a
T-plan Church and now an A-grade listed building. It is open
during the Summer months for visitors and there is a leaflet in the
Church explaining in more detail some of the history of the building.
For example, the pulpit is probably original to the Church, with an old
sounding board over it as a canopy, an 18th-century amplification
system. The pulpit is on the long wall of the Church with the
people seated facing each other along 2 arms of the 'T' shape; the 3rd
part was partitioned off in the 1950's to form a vestry.
On the front wall of the Church there is what looks like an iron
hook; there used to be a collar attached to this; it is called the 'jougs'
and was a form of punishment for people caught doing things they ought
not to do! The collar was put round their necks and they were left
attached to the wall for all the world to see and laugh at them.
1989 the Church building celebrated its 250th anniversary in a variety
of ways: with a major restoration programme costing £40,000, 80% of
which was provided by Historic Scotland;
with the publishing of a history of the Church, its ministers and the
community, written by the minister, James Dewar; it is called
The Old White House of God and is out of print, but
available in Thurso Library; with the visit of the Queen Mother in
August for a service of rededication; with a visit by the then Moderator
of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Very Rev Bill
McDonald, who preached at the morning service; by a special anniversary
service, followed by a social evening in the village hall.
Reay with Strathy and Halladale - a shared ministry
In 1994, following the departure of Dr Frank Bardgett as Minister of
Strathy and Halladale, the congregations of Reay and Strathy and
Halladale were linked under the ministry of James Dewar. The 2
congregations remain separate units, each with their
own office-bearers and organisations; they simply share a minister and
the cost of his upkeep. 80 years ago, there were 8 ministers and a
lay missionary living in this area;
now there is only 1 resident minister, with others coming in and out to
conduct services, but living elsewhere.
North Coast Parish Church
Reay 1st and 3rd Sunday at 11am
Strathy 2nd and 4th Sunday at 11am
Halladale 5th Sunday of Month at 11am
Tel 01847 811441
here for Church of Scotland web site.