Our Church History - Ministers

Article Index

Rev. Sandy Sutherland

The next Minister was Rev. Sandy Sutherland. Within two months he reported that he had visited all families connected with the congregation. Within four years he left for another charge as he had been advised on medical grounds to seek a lighter charge. At this time an increase in the Sunday School had brought problems of discipline. The congregation planned to build a new hall able to seat 160 people and at an estimated cost of £588. An advertisement was placed in the Groat and no fewer than 17 contractors expressed an interest in undertaking the work. The war meant it was not built at that stage.

Rev. Stephen Green

The next Minister was Rev. Stephen Green who had been working in Nyasaland training men for the ministry. He returned there after the war was over in 1946. There were then a prolonged discussions about the future of the congregation. The secession of 1733 and the disruption of 1843 were followed by the unions of 1876, 1900 and 1929. The result was that, after 1929, there were 3 congregations of the church of Scotland in Pulteneytown (St Andrews, Central and West) and 2 on the Wick side (Bridge Street and the Old Parish Church). Five churches were considered too many for a town the size of Wick. It was to take another 75 years before the Church of Scotland was to be represented by two congregations - one for each side of the Wick river.

Rev. George Ramage

Eventually, St Andrews church was allowed to call a Minister ‘around 55 years of age’ . Rev. George Ramage was inducted in 1947 and died in June 1953. He is buried in the new Wick cemetry. His quiet steady leadership had consolidated the work of the congregation.

Rev. John Robertson

He was followed by Rev. John Robertson whose enthusiasm soon made its mark on the congregation. The hall planned 20 years before was at last built. During the last year of his ministry in Wick the congregation became financially self-supporting for the first time in its history……..116 years after it was opened for worship! His ministry in Wick was short but significant.

Rev. Robert McGee

He was succeeded by Rev. Robert McGhee who had been in the town with a student mission and had ‘caught the eye’ of the congregation. They waited till he had completed his studies and he was ordained in 1959. His strong personality and vigorous evangelistic heart soon made its mark on the growing congregation. There was further change in name for the congregation when the union with the rural congregation at Thrumster took place in 1961. The congregation was now called Wick St. Andrew’s and Thrumster. The Wick Church was usually called ‘St. Andrew’s’.

Rev. Sandy Gunn

Having been blessed under the ministry of one young Minister the congregation called another, Rev. Sandy Gunn, in 1967. His enormous work rate and enthusiasm consolidated the work of the previous years and Sunday Schools and youth work grew apace. The Sunday night inter-church ‘Eight O’Clock Club’ was a major feature of his time in Wick. There was need for more hall accommodation was acute but Presbytery were concerned about the number of Churches in Wick and was hesitant about giving approval. Eventually as Sandy was leaving Wick the work was ready to begin.

Rev. William Wallace

The Rev. Bill Wallace, was inducted in 1974. He had been a Missionary Dentist in Ethiopia and Minister of the Inter-denominational Church in Addis Ababa. The halls were now completed- fifteen years later they would be extended and the church lounge added. The annual Holiday Club is one of the largest in Scotland and the variety of children’s and youth activities is a feature of the congregation. In 1990 Wick Central Church and Wick St.Andrew’s united to become Pulteneytown Parish Church. The original name restored. The pipe organ from the Central Church was renovated and transferred to Pulteneytown.

In May 2003 major renovations were completed. The pews down-stairs were removed and comfortable individual seats replaced them, a completely new heating system was installed, the chancel area was revamped, a glass-fronted entrance court-yard/ reception area was constructed, new facilities for disabled people were provided, the lighting was greatly improved as was visibility from the gallery. The new colour scheme and sanded floor create a fresh, vibrant feel within the building.

The current renovations and developments will provide the congregation with attractive, adaptable, facilities in which to extend the cause of Christ in Pulteneytown in the 21st.Century.

After 34 years of long and faithful service to this church, parish and community, Rev William Wallace retired. He had overseen some major changes in the congregation over that period. He will be greatly missed, but he had left a solid foundation for the next minister that God would choose to fill the pulpit of Pulteneytown and Thrumster Parish Church.

Rev. Stuart Farmes

There was a period of vacancy lasting three and a half years before the congregation called the next minister. The Rev Stuart Farmes was Inducted and Ordained on the 3rd November 2011. The people of Pulteneytown and Thrumster look forward with eager anticipation to this new era in the life and witness of Christ's church in this parish. After 2 and a half years in the parish, Stuart was called to Kirkmabreck and Monigaff in Wigtownshire. 

Rev. Andrew A Barrie

The 24th of November 2017 marked the start of a new stage in the history of this congregation.  On that day, the Rev Andrew Barrie was inducted to the charge.