Wick Central Church
Wick Central Church in the 1950’s, by the time on the clock this photograph was taken at exactly 12’ noon.
The Central Church sanctuary during the early 1900’s. It was refurbished during the 1940’s, replacing the balcony, pulpit and windows and pews.
An article which featured in a 1958 edition of the John O’ Groat Journal.
Elders & Deacons of Wick Central Church
The old building of the Central Church. Now home of Wick Baptist Church.
In 1806 the congregation of the Wick Central Church was formed and in 1844 a Church was erected and after a series of problems it was renamed Pulteneytown Free Church. At the time of writing, the structure is a B-listed building and features a spire which was later added in 1862 along with a tower on which the spire stands. Clocks were also added and are on each face of the tower. When the tower was built, small spires were added on each corner on the top, they are no longer there, the reason is not know but they were most likley removed for safety reasons before the 1960’s.
In 1901 it became part of the United Free Church (UFC). It is not known when the Church settled on being a Church of Scotland but it is thought I have been in the early 1930’s. In 1955, Wick Central Church joined with the West Church of Scotland which was located in Francis Street and so the congregations shared their services with the morning service being held in the Central Church and the evening service being held in the West Church. Miss Emma Bruce was the Church organist and played the organ at every service, she also played at services in the West Church as well as covering for other services for other churches in the town. A monthly newsletter was released for the congregation with a message from the pastor and news concerning the church as well as upcoming events.
The congregation of the Kirk was always quite large but as years went by it minimised with the outcome of it closing in 1990, the congregation merged with Pulteneytown Parish Church, although some members joined the Baptist Church which was located in Union Street at the time. The building of Wick Central Church laid empty for seven years until Wick Baptist Church bought the premises in 1997 and refurbished the entire building with work being completed on the outside and interior, the building was then occupied by the congregation in 1998 after renovations were finished.
The Rev. James Cormack was the last minister of the Central Church and was known as Hamish. He was said to have been a very happy man who would dance up the pulpit steps. He would often hold meetings in the Church manse in Thurso Road. One memory from an old member the Central Church was “Cormack was up the stairs in the manse one night and heard the phone ringing, he got in such a panic because he thought it was one of the deacons so he ran to answer the phone which was down the stairs and when he reached the top of the stairs he forgot there was step and kept walking and of course he fell the whole way down the stairs and ended up in the hospital!” Hamish Cormack enjoyed listening to the well known Gospel singers, The Tharps and the Camerons, he, on one occasion travelled to the states to visit The Tharps. Hamish died in 1997 and his funeral was held at Pulteneytown Parish Church, he is interred in the New Municipal Cemetery in Wick and he is remembered as a dear and kind man who loved the Lord.
Ministers of Wick Central Church
Nigel Craig Robertson
Inducted in 1887
Inducted in 1927
Inducted in 1931
Inducted in 1945
Inducted in 1950
Inducted in 1971
The Church sanctuary today.