West Church of Scotland
“The little cathedral” in the 1950’s.
In 1950 it was decided that the West Church and and the Wick Central Church would merge and become one congregation. At the time of the union of the Central and West Church, the Rev. William Clarke who was pastor of the West Church, decided to retire at the time of their joining and so the united congregation which went under the name of Wick Central Church, they began to look for a new minister with the outcome of the Rev. James Bews being inducted on the 30th of August 1950. The Manse of the West Church, located at 30 Thurso Road then became the Manse of the united congregation and was named “The Central Manse”, the other Manse in Francis Street which was the old Central Church Manse was sold at the decision of the United congregation. The union officially took place on the 22nd of January 1950, prior to Rev. Bews’ coming.
After the joining of the two congregations, the property and funds belonging to each church became the property and funds of the united congregation and it was to be that one church building would be used for worship and the other to be used for congregational purposes or be disposed of at the decision of the united congregation. Instead of this, for a period of two or three years both church buildings were used for worship with the morning service being held in the Central Church and the evening service being held in the West Church, this was to happen until the united congregation came to a decision as to what building they were going to use for congregational purposes unless they chose to dispose of one of the buildings, the united congregation were given a certain amount of time to come to a decision, if they ran over this time it would be the presbytery’s decision. Eventually the West Church was demolished in the late 1950’s, whether this was the congregation’s decision or they ran over their time limit, it is not known.
A church building was erected in 1879 in Francis Street for the fellowship of the United Presbyterian Church. It became part of the United Free Church in 1900 and later settled on becoming a Church of Scotland, the West Church was one out of five Church of Scotlands in Wick. A Manse was then erected at No. 30 Thurso Road and later in the 1940’s they became a Church of Scotland.
West Church Deacons in 1911. The minister is seated in the middle of the group.
The Johnston Collection.
The dedication of the colours of the first Wick company girl guides and rangers outside the West Fhurch on the 28th of February 1932.
Back row, left to right:
K. Budge and the Rev. Gordon Gray,
S. Robertson and A. Mackenzie.
A. Riach, A. Lyall and B. Adamson.
The Johnston Collection.
A side view West Church building. The Johnston Collection.