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Muted celebrations for Wick church's 150th anniversary

By David G Scott

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A WICK church's congregation has had to celebrate its 150th anniversary from a distance due to the lockdown restrictions.

St John’s Scottish Episcopal Church on Moray Street was consecrated on May 13, 1870, by Bishop Eden and special events had been planned for last Sunday to mark its 150 years of devotional service.

Earlier this year, St John’s was gearing up for the event with the St John’s Singers and the Pulteney Bell Ringers in full rehearsal for the musical input.

St John's church in Wick celebrates its 150th anniversary.Picture: DGS
St John's church in Wick celebrates its 150th anniversary.Picture: DGS

All the plans were put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the anniversary did not go unnoticed and Susie Dingle, musical director of the St John’s Singers, mentioned the anniversary as part of a weekly online "hymn along" with Katrina Gordon.

Susie and Katrina, who are also members of Pentland Brass Band, dedicated the hymn Thy hand, O God Has Guided to St John’s.

They can be followed on the Pentland Brass Band Facebook page with live video sessions on Sunday afternoons at 2pm in their back garden.

The beautiful interior of St John's church.Picture: DGS
The beautiful interior of St John's church.Picture: DGS

The congregation of St John's had already been established 15 years before the church opened and had worshipped at what is now the Assembly Rooms in Wick.

In February 2005, St John’s held an anniversary service, led by Bishop John Crook, to mark the 150th anniversary of the establishment of an Episcopal congregation in Wick.

The bishop led a service of thanksgiving at which Richard Stanley and Andrew Wilson were admitted to the Scottish Guild of Servers.

An anniversary concert was then held in the church in March, at which the guests were Wick Choral Society and the Caithness Handbell Ringers.

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