Abdie & Dunbog Parish Church – Scottish Charity No. SC004848
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ABDIE CHURCH
The Old Kirk which is down the lane from the present church was consecrated on 5th September 1242 by the Bishop of St. Andrews, being dedicated to St. Magridin (or Macgidrin) who is thought to be St. Adrian who was murdered by the Danes on 9th May 875. The Denmylne Aisle was added on the north side in 1611 by Sir Robert Balfour, who was subsequently killed in a duel with his neighbour Sir James Makgill of Lindores.
It is understood that the Church of Auld Lindors, probably of Culdee origin, was previously at the site of the Old Kirk. When the Charter for Lindores Abbey was granted in 1178, the monks transferred the older name of Lindors to the new building, and thereafter called their mother church Abdie (or Abden) to designate “the lands pertaining to the Abbey of God”. The former name Lindors may be from a Gaelic word meaning “church by the water”.
The Old Kirk being in need of repair in 1824, the heritors employed an architect, who reported that the roof, walls etc were in such an unsafe state that repair, if practical, would be a very imprudent waste of of money. The Old Kirk was used for the last time on 11th November 1827, following which the heritors sold “by public roup” the roof, seats, and windows! Since the 1930s the Old Kirk has been a listed Monument.
The Parish Church being built in 1827 using William Burn as architect has been described as: “A plain rectangle, expressed in round-arch style, complements tower belfry which displays unusual Italianate tendencies”. The only item which was transferred from the Old Kirk was the bell (recast in 1671). The new church contained accommodation for over 400 persons, and curiously it is noted that the seats were not allocated by the Sheriff until May 1829.
From 1644 to 1839 Abdie had 10 ministers. Then the Rev. John Duncan was ordained in June 1839 to be minister for over 60 years, followed by the Rev. Alexander Allison ordained in December 1897 to be minister until 1945. The Rev. W. Finlayson Young became minister in 1945 until 1953, and continued to worship regularly at the church until his death a few years ago.
In 1923 the church interior was renovated to provide comfortable seating throughout and to rebuild the gallery, the interior having been described beforehand as bare and cheerless! More recently in the 1980s the church interior was further improved, at which time the Church Hall was added. Inside our church there are three stained glass windows: (i) in memory of John Cameron, parochial schoolmaster for 38 years, installed 1900; (ii) in memory of Mrs. Mary Maitland, widow of Admiral Maitland of Lindores, installed 1912; and (iii) Parish War Memorial, installed 1920.
More recently the Dunbog Church War Memorial windows were installed in the vestibule, having been in storage since the closure of Dunbog Church. A stained glass window in memory of Charmay Maitland, wife of the admiral’s descendant and local farmer Christopher Maitland, was installed on the gallery staircase window in 2009, as a gift from the community.
Abdie and Dunbog Parishes became a united charge from December 1965, with Dunbog Church closing in 1983, when the parishes became linked with Newburgh.