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The Established Church


In 1838 Caithness Presbytery received a petition from Rev Robert Phinn, Wick, setting out the need for a church for the expanding settlement of Pulteneytown. In 1839 a Missionary was appointed for the area and a draft petition was presented to the General Assembly of 1841. As the new church was being built the congregation met in Pulteneytown Academy Assembly Hall. It took three years to build the church at a cost of £1,700. Money for the building came from the British Fisheries Society, Magistrates, Heritors the Church Extension Committee in Edinburgh and local people. The full cost was not met until 1878.

The Opening

Pulteneytown Church was opened for worship on Sunday 6th.November 1842 – a new church for the new township.

The local newspaper of the day recorded the event in its own particular journalistic style ....

According to the papers ....

”This neat building was opened for public worship on Sunday last, when the Rev.Charles Thomson, Minister of Wick, preached a most eloquent sermon on Exodus 20 verse 24

The Church was full but not crowded. This is to be attributed to there not having been sufficient public notice given by advertisement relative to the opening. Upwards of £22 was collected; a pretty good sum, certainly, but we are convinced it could have amounted to at least £10 more had the opening of the church been announced in the newspapers in the usual way. Several persons from neighbouring villages regretted that they were not present but said that they knew nothing about it, having examined the pages of your journal every week for the purpose.

The Church is a very comfortable one being well ventilated and protected from the inclemency of the weather. Gas will be introduced when sufficient funds have been raised for the fittings. Altogether after being used to the ‘big kirk’ with its patched windows and ear-piercing draughts, the new church is very comfortable.

We must not, however, omit to state that the manner in which the contractors executed their work reflects credit on them as designers and workmen.

It will not be amiss to remind the heritors of the Parish of Wick, that it is high time the windows of the ‘big kirk’ were mended. A large sum of money has lately been expended on the Manse,, which, by the way, certainly required it; we do not think they ought to grudge paying for panes of glass in the Church. The sum required for the purpose would not exceed one-fourth that paid for building the dyke in the neighbourhood of the Church.”