THIS IS THE
YEAR OF FAITH
(as announced by Pope Benedict XVI for the entire Catholic Church, click here Year of faith)
Please visit the 'Year of Faith' website of the Scottish Bishops' Conference at http://yearoffaithscotland.com/
or Facebook: www.facebook.com/yearoffaithscotland
or Twitter: www.twitter.com/scotyearoffaith
For more photos about Bishop Hugh please click here!
Fr.Patrick Rice S.J.
our parish priest
welcomes you to the website of the Roman Catholic Church in Inverurie / Alford / Fetternear area !
OUR LADY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION RC CHURCH, Inverurie
For directions use AB514TL and log on to
A brief history of our 3 Mass centres
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Leslie Chapel in Fetternear
There are actually two there. One fell into ruin. The other remains in good condition. The latter was built by James Leslie the 25th Baron of Balquhain in 1845. This James, in one of many complex successions in the Leslie family, succeeded his nephew, John Leslie. John was both the 24th Baron and belonged to the Austrian branch of the Leslies. He was a Count of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and an officer in an Austrian Hussar regiment of which the Emperor of Russia, Nicholas I, was colonel. In 1844 count John returned to Scotland to assume the Barony of Balquhain, which he had inherited. One day he went grouse shooting on the hill of Bennachie, became overheated, drank cold water from a spring, caught cold, which turned into pneumonia, and died. His successor and uncle, James, had gone to Jamaica where he had acquired property. He returned to Scotland on his accession to the Barony. He roofed over the old and historic chapel at Fetternear, the Leslies of Balquhain home, which although in ruins was used as the family burial vault. Then in 1845 he built a new chapel next to it which remains in good condition. Of simple but handsome proportion, it is an attractive little church.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
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AB338AE and log on to
The proposal to construct the present building was first made in January 1968 when an advertisement invited interested people to a meeting in the Station Hotel. They considered plans drawn up by an architect and a Building Committee of three of those present was formed, Mr Farquharson, The Master of Forbes and Henry Noltie. At the first meeting, tenders for the work were examined and the work was approved to be carried out by J and C Henry of Alford "without delay".
By 18 April 1868 they were ready to ask The Right Rev the Bishop of Aberdeen to attend the ceremony of laying the foundation stone. The Master of Forbes was asked to lay the stone.
By June 1869 plans for the consecration of the church were being discussed. Only the essentials were provided at this time. The tower, stained glass windows and other items were contributed later.
The first Rector was the Rev James Wiseman appointed in 1871 until 1874 when he was followed by Mr Barnes, then by Mr Edwards and then by Mr Adkyn, which takes us up to 1881.
After this uncertain start St. Andrews was fortunate to have as Rector The Rev James Petrie who stayed for 38 years to 1919. He was followed by his son William who was Rector until his death in 1945.
In May 1890 Robert Francis Ogilvie Farquharson Esq of Haughton died, to the great sadness of St Andrews. The Brass plaque under the rose window at the west end was erected in his memory by his widow. It is unfortunate that it has become spoilt by rain water seeping in from the rose window. This has since been repaired but not all our efforts with much rubbing; brasso and wood ash can restore the plaque.
In 1895 Mr Moir Byres of Tonley offered to give a stained glass window for the central light of the ease end window. In 1899 he asked permission to place two windows in the chancel, the one of St Peter and the other of St Andrew. Miss Maria Ogilvie Farquharson (daughter of the late Robert Farquharson) asked to be allowed to place a window of St Margaret in the chancel. She also gave windows in the nave on the organ side of the Virgin and Child and of St Joseph, in memory of her great aunt and in 1902 she gave the windows on the other side of the nave of "The Annunciation" dedicated "To The Glory of God".
In 1900 Mr Alexander the chemist in Alford gave a window in the vestry, the design of which is "Christ Bearing the Cross". This window is dedicated to The Rev Patrick Laing. Mr Alexander also presented the "Altar Desk" in memory of Mr Jaffray, the last Episcopal Alford Parish minister.
Miss Farquharson died in 1908 leaving 300 to the church. George Moir Byres died in 1909. The two sidelights of the east window were installed in his memory.
In 1912 it was pointed out that the present harmonium was "quite done", and it was suggested that a proper organ be installed. A year later the Vestry was asked to consider a new one from E H Lawton, Pittodrie Organ Works, complete with an engine for blowing the necessary air by waterpower. There was at this time no electricity in Alford and the alternative to waterpower was someone, probably a small boy, to pump the air. The water engine was located under the floor and the whole system caused endless trouble and expense to the church until it was finally taken out.
In 1922 Mrs Alexander gave the sanctuary lamp in memory of her husband. This is the lamp with red glass over the altar. At this time it would be lit by a candle.
In 1930 John Milne of Kingsford erected the porch and spire in memory of his parents and brother. The clock and the bell were donated anonymously.
In 1932 Mr George Alexander, chemist in Aboyne, donated the brass lectern in memory of his parents. His father was Alexander, chemist in Alford who had been a staunch member of St Andrews and on the Vestry. The eagle is now at the back of the church as it has been suspended by a low reading desk carrying a modern translation of the Bible. However, the eagle is still much admired. It takes two people about two hours to clean it!
In 1937 The Grampian Electric Company brought electricity to Alford and a year later the Church was wired including power for the organ. You might think that now the problems with the organ would be at an end, however, damp in the Church continued to be a problem to the organ. It was horribly cold and damp in the Church during the winter months!
In 1946 the carved oak altar table was erected in memory of Canon William Petrie. He left money for a reredos to be erected in memory of his mother. This was finally installed but there was not enough money to insert tapestry and there were only curtains.
The Rev D O Noble was Recto from 1945 till 1950. The Rev Chaplin from 1951 till 1957.
In December 1954 the spire was hit by lightning and was damaged. The organ situated immediately below the spire was damaged by falling dust and debris. Insurance covered repairs to the spire. The organ was overhauled, thoroughly cleaned and moved to a better site at the west end of the church (the opposite end to the altar). It was provided with a new motor for the bellows. It continued to cause trouble and expense until it was finally superseded by a computerised Allen Organ in 1993.
The Rev Mr Eric Kerrin was Rector from 1957 until 1970 when he resigned. He was the last Rector to inhabit the Rectory, which was let, off and on, until it was finally sold in 1984.
Canon Kerrin, father of Rev Eric Kerrin, offered to take on all the services until a new Rector could be found. He travelled from Kemnay. In 1978 The Rev D W N Grant was appointed Rector to St Mary's, Inverurie, St Andrews, Alford, St Anne's, Kemnay and St Marys, Auchindoir. The church attendance in Alford was very low and the financial situation was poor. The congregation had to make do with one Sunday service at 2.30 in the afternoon. Under Mr Grant until 1989 and under Denis Bovey until 1994 the situation gradually improved and now under John Walker as Recto we have Anne James as resident Priest in Alford. St Andrews now is going on to do great things.
ST ANDREWS TODAY
At the time of writing in 2000, the Episcopal Church has two services on Sunday. At 11.00am there is a service which suits the more traditionally minded. At 9.30am there is what is known as an "Alternative" service. There is plenty of room here for experimentation for all age groups worshipping together.
However, St Andrews, the building, now is used by our friends the Roman Catholics who celebrate mass on Tuesday and Saturday evenings at 6.00 pm and the Apostolic Fellowship, which meets on Sunday evenings.