The congregation which worships in Pitlochry can trace its history Moulin Kirk back at least to the 7th century when it seems a church dedicated to St Colm or St Colman was founded.  Further evidence of early Christian activity in the area is the Dunfallandy Stone which has an ornately sculptured Celtic Christian Cross, human and animal carvings and Pictish symbols.  It was originally found near Killiecrankie, about 4 miles (c. 6.5 km) from Pitlochry but was moved to Dunfallandy farm close to Pitlochry.  It probably dates from the 7th or 8th century A.D.  Throughout the centuries since then successive parish church buildings were erected in the nearby village of Moulin.  King William the Lion (1165-1214) gave to the Abbey of Dunfermline a charter of the Dunfallandy Stonechurch at Moulin with three carucates of land.  (A carucate was the amount of land a team of oxen could plough in a season – about 50 acres or 20 hectares.)  Another charter, dated 1231, notes that the establishment of Dunfermline Abbey had been increased from 30 to 50 monks and, to augment their income, the abbot and convent “made humble supplication for the patronage of  Moulin  Church”.  Pope Gregory IX granted them that patronage.  Shortly before the Reformation in 1560 the Commendator of the abbey at  Dunfermline granted a feu charter of “all and whole of the glebe and Kirkland of Maling (Moulin)……” to the Stewart family who had lived and worked land in that area for many years.  This was the origin of Balnakeilly estate, one of several estates in the Pitlochry district.  The present church building at Moulin was closed for worship in 1989 and all activities of the congregation were then centred on the buildings in Pitlochry.


A disastrous fire had gutted Moulin Kirk in 1873 and, in addition to restoring this building, (shown to the left) a decision was taken to erect a new church building in Pitlochry on a site which had been offered by Mr Archibald Butter of Faskally.  The building designed by  Dundee architects, C&L Ower, and comprising a mixture of Victorian Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine features, was completed in 1884 and when Mr Butter died in 1885, money was raised for a church clock and bell as a memorial of his lifetime service to the town.  Services in the Pitlochry Church, which seats about 250 people, were arranged by the Kirk Session of Moulin.  The other main addition was the construction of two iron columns to reinforce the roof structure in 1901.  A church hall was built in 1910.  The church and the nearby monument to Alexander Duff of Moulin, the first Church of Scotland missionary to India, (seen here to the right of the church) have been given ‘A’ listed status by the Local Authority.


In 1929, when the majority of United Free Church congregations united with those of the Church of Scotland, the Pitlochry UF Church became known as the East Church and the building we use today became the  West  Church.  Its position on a knoll overlooking the village earned it the nickname ‘ Mount  Zion’.   In 1934 it was designated the second parish church of the parish of Moulin.  In 1992, the congregations of the East Church and the West Church united to form what is today ‘Pitlochry Church of Scotland’.  To commemorate this union, a porch was added to the former West Church, built from stones taken from the East Church. The 1910 hall was refurbished and a lounge area, office, and commercial kitchen added.  This is The Tryst and it serves as a meeting place for the congregation and local community organisations and so increases the opportunities for the church’s outreach to those whom it serves.

Read 5854 times

Copyright © 2015 - 2018 Pitlochry Church of Scotland.
All Rights Reserved.