Dyke Church History

In 1451 the land and revenues of the Bishop of Spinie included “the croft and acres of Dyck” and the “tenements and kirktouns of Moy”. The kirk of Moy was joined with Dyke Church in 1618 and only the burial grounds remain at Moy.

It is known that there was a Kirk Session keeping records in Dyke as early as 1627, but the surviving minutes date only from 1663. From these, information can be gleaned concerning the early buildings on the present site.

Apparently the church was thatched and in 1674 the Session found part of the roof not watertight and decided to have it repaired. After consulting with a Thatcher the Session decided to defer the repairs till summer. The next mention of thatching is in December. Presumably water was still coming in. The Session again resolved that it be considered the next summer. In the meantime they employed a Glasswright to glaze the windows, bought timber and engaged workmen to repair the doors and lofts, taking money “out of the penalties”, namely money gathered in from fines imposed on delinquents. (The Kirk Session was a recognised court of Law with powers).

Various patch up jobs kept things going for a few years but more than patching was needed.

In 1693 there was a meeting of the Prebytery with the Heritors and Elders of Dyke and the “first thing was the ruinous case for the Church”. The repairs were substantial, as is seen by the fact that on one occasion certain delinquents who should have stood in the penitents box to “ satisfy Session Discipline” had their sentences postponed, “ the Church roof being down” In fact the whole roof was taken off, the walls made good and a new roof was slated.

In the next fifty years occasional improvements were made to the building. A “common loft” at the east end of the Church was renewed in 1705 at the cost of £120scots, paid for by the Session. Some years later a new loft was erected in the west end. The Session hoped to recover the cost of it by letting sittings, but found that people would not pay. Yet a third loft was added along the north wall, the Session over looked an important point the building was not designed for such an addition, and those sitting in the north loft could not read their bibles. A new window had to be cut in the wall. It might be said that this bespeaks a considerable population of churchgoers.

New Church

In April 1781 Mr Brodie of Brodie, for the Heritors, wrote that a plan and estimates were now ready, and that an advertisement had been made in the press for a contractor and undertaker for the work, which would begin immediately after seedtime.

The Conditions, quoted in full, speak for themselves. The Heritors were “mined to do their best for the Parish” and took care that the builder should do a good job. The fact that the Church stands today some 228 years later is evidence of their sound workmanship. The New Church was built for £483.

 

Kinnaird Grave Stone 1841

Kinnaird Stone

Writing in March 1841, the then minister of Dyke tells of the discovery, embedded in a heap of rubbish, of a gravestone bearing the names of this laird and his wife. The discovery was made in the churchyard about eighteen years before the above date. The stone, having been cleaned, was found to be entire, its inscription legible, and a few years later it was placed for its better preservation inside the church. On the upper part the Kinnaird arms are engraved, with the initials of the Laird and Lady, and underneath the inscription: –

“Valter Kinnaird; Elizabeth Innes

The buildars of this bed of stane,

Are Laird and Ladie of Coubine

Qhilk twa and theirs, when

Braith is gane, pleise God

Vil sleep this bed within”

1613

 

Rodney’s Stone (NH 990 584)

During the 1781 excavations for the foundations of Dyke Church, which was constructed behind its pre-reformation predecessor a Class 11 upright cross-slab of grey sandstone (Rodney’s Stone), was found. The stone must have been in the graveyard of the old Church.

It now stands at the entrance to Brodie Castle.

Rodney's Stone

Rodney’s Stone

In the early 1800’s The Kinnaird Stone, having been found in a heap of rubbish in the Churchyard was cleaned and placed inside the West Door of the Church.

Nothing more is on record, except the writing in stone. Look at the concrete skew on the edge of the roof, over the west door of the Church and you will see the date 1781. The Church built 228 years ago is essentially the one we still worship in today.

Renovation

In 1941 the question of a vestry was raised, it was thought the building adjoining the east end of the Church might be utilised; in 1946 the project was extended to include new seating for the Church. Architects were engaged to produce a plan. By 1948 the old vestry (present vestry upstairs) and present hall had been renovated.

In the post war period there were government restrictions on what could be spent on buildings. In 1950 a permit was granted and so began renovation of the Church. The changes made were extensive, only the Triple Pulpit remained in its former place.

Triple Deck Pulpit

Triple Deck Pulpit

Triple Deck Pulpit

One of the last remaining two in Scotland, The triple deck pulpit is a very old interesting feature of this Church. The Minister preaches from the pulpit at the top the precentor led the singing from the second level, before the organ was installed, the third section was the seat for anyone who, in the eyes of the preacher, had sinned during the week. Old Session Minutes record the names of those who were punished in this way; it was known as the Penitents Box and this is one of the last remaining three in Scotland.

The long communion table, which had seated a large number of communicants at a time, was replaced by the one we use today. This with the Font were presented by the widow of Rev. G. M. Fairweather, in his memory. A great deal of thought had been given to the design and placing of the new pews. The old ones represented the worst feature of the former interior.

All the new pews now face the pulpit in a near semi-circle, whereas before they were in long straight lines, many of the worshipers had to sit in a side-on position to face the pulpit proving most uncomfortable as time and service went on. Other work carried out in the renovation was cutting through the main wall of the Church to lead directly into the adjoining building; thereby the Church was connected to the vestry and hall. The improvements also included new floors upstairs and down, improved central heating and electricity throughout the whole building.

Total outlays came to £3000. The necessary funds came partly from the sale of the East Church and partly from the Baird Trust. On Sunday 24th February 1952 the re-opening of the Church was marked by a special service. Since then the only changes to the buildings have been the new kitchen and vestry upstairs.

Dyke Church Interior

Friends gathering before the service