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Unique Relics and Furnishings of Kettins Parish Church


The church possesses two fine, silver Communion Cups of beautiful and graceful proportions, bearing the inscription :-


They bear a shield and the coat of arms of Auchinleck. The Auchinlecks were an ancient Angus family; their crest was "three bars sable and in base a bugle horn stringed." These arms occur on a stone at Woodhill with initials and date. The cups bear only the arms of the Auchinleck family but the inscription shows that the cups were the gift of the wife of James Auchinleck who was minister of Kettins Kirk 1618-1649. If her name was Auchinleck then the cups bear her arms as well as those of her husband. These cups which have been at many exhibitions of Scottish silver are valued at £500 each. They carry the Dundee hall mark-a pot of lilies-and the initials A.L., the initials are almost certainly those of Alexander Lindsay, goldsmith of Dundee of whom it is known that he was entered as a Burgess of Dundee in 1628.


In the vestry can be seen two old pewter collection plates. One of them is stamped with the initials A. C. and 1. L. The other has inscribed in rude lettering on the upper rim: FOR THE CHUCH (sic) KATINS : : 1723, and is stamped on the underside with the name Thomas Forrest with a circle and in an oblong panel the stamp, DUNDIE. There was a Thomas Forrest, pewtherer in Dundee in the year 1710. These plates have also been exhibited on several occasions.





     The Clock was purchased from James Ivory, Dundee in 1769, at a cost of £5 10s, the receipt for which can be seen on the back of the clock door. James Ivory was a clockmaker of some repute who was in business in Dundee between 1762 and 1795. This may have been the first clock possessed by the Church and may have taken the place of the sand glass used until the date of its purchase. In the records of the church appears the following item dated 3rd September 1699 :- "For buying one sand glass for church 10 sh."


    In the vestry cabinet are two old collection boxes with double locks, studded with brass. These remind us of the collection system in the early days of the Church of Scotland. A Boxmaster was appointed to supervise collections. Each box had three keys, one held by the Boxmaster, one by the minister and the third by one of the elders of the church. The box could be opened only in the presence of all three keyholders.

THE MORTCLOTH BOX - (Now Missing)…..

     This box was used to store the mortcloth which was loaned out, for a fee, to cover the coffin at a funeral.


     This bell which dates from 1718 was used at funerals. The beadle of the church proceeded ahead of the cortege ringing the bell at intervals on the way to the church­yard.


Among other interesting articles of church property now stored in the vestry are :-

Two large plates and two flagons of pewter used for the Communion services.

On 31st July 1763, the Kirk Session empowered the minister to buy these in Dundee for regular use at communion.

      One lavar or baptisimal basin of pewter.

    One token bearing the initials R.T. Robert Traill was minister of Kettins 1746 to 1753. David Tasker, smith, made three hundred and fifty tokens from the stamp which can be seen. The total cost was £3 13s.


     One token dated 1830 to David Symers who was minister of the church 1801 to 1842. This token was in use until Dr. Fleming's time when communion cards were introduced.

    One Beggar's Badge, dated 174l. These badges were issued to "gaberlunzie men" in times of poverty and distress and were in effect licences to beg. There were many occasions when such licences had to be issued. The minister of the church when this particular badge was issued was the Rev. James Gray, who at his death in 1743 left nine bolls, seven pecks of oatmeal to be distributed among the poor.

     One engraving of the Church Bell and Belfry of 1319, that is the pre-Reformation Belfry; also one engraving of the church after the tower was built in 1891.

     Two wooden collection boxes with short handles.

     One Bible and Book of Psalms presented to the Church of Kettins by Alexander Geekie, Esq., of Baldowrie in 1853.

      One Bible presented by Alexander Geekie Esq., surgeon and citizen of London, "for the use of the Parish Church of Kettins," in 1718. This Alexander Geekie was a native of the parish. born at Baldowrie in July 1655 and was a benefactor of the church especially interested in the education of the youth of Kettins in his time.

Two new communion cups of the same design as those presented to the Church in 1636. which were bought on 1st June 1876 .

A set of fine table linen presented to the Kirk Session on 31st August 1 1902 by Mrs Johnston, wife of Sheriff Johnston, Baldowrie, as a token of good feeling towards the church for the use of the congregation at the Sacrament of Holy Com­munion.

Two silver flagons presented on 22nd February 1891, by Mrs Anderson of Hartington Place, Edinburgh in memory of her father, Alexander Geekie, Esq., who for forty six years faithfully discharged the duties of eldership in the parish and died on 14th September 1889, aged seventy-eight years.

Individual communion cups. introduced into the Church in August 1920, during the ministry of Dr Kerr.


Articles of church furniture in regular use, which are worthy of note include the following items :-

   Two oak tables to hold the collection plates at the doors, gifted by Peter Car­michael, Esq.. of Arthurstone in 1880. Door collections were dispensed with in December 1891 and collection by bag was introduced.


    The handsome communion table, chair, lectern and alms dish, which were gifted to the Church by the Women's Guild on 20th December 1923. The communion table cloth was the gift of Miss Annie Robertson of Beechbank, Coupar Angus, ex­-Provost of that burgh. The cloth was gifted on 18th June, 1924.

    A Bible, for Lectern use, presented by the Misses Keay of Baldowrie in memory of their father Thomas Keay, who died on 18th December, 1925.

    Flower Vases, presented by Mr and Mrs Graham Menzies of Hallyburton in memory of their son Lieut. Alistair Graham Menzies, 1st Bat. Scots Guards, killed in action on January 1st, 1915 at the age of twenty-two.

    Church Hymnary, for choir use, gifted in memory of David Fenton of Gask, an elder of the church for many years, by his daughter, Mrs Westwood, in 1942.


    A new organ was presented to the church by Kettins Women's Guild with whom were associated W.D. Graham Menzies, Esq., of Hallyburton and Miss S.M. Geekie, forrnerlv of Raldowrie. It was dedicated on 8th August, 1926.


      Service of Dedication 2nd April, 1950, at 6 p.m .

     At the commencement of the Thanksgiving Service on Communion Sunday, the electric lighting installation recently completed was dedicated and brought into use Rev. J Morton Jones, South Church, Blairgowrie officiated and after the dedicatory prayer made fitting reference to the occasion, concluding, "The lights of this San­ctuary are now to be turned on, may they shine to the Glory of God, and be to the Church, a Symbol of the illumination of His Holy Spirit," Mr A. T. Smart, Senior Elder then switched on the lights, Hymn 364 was then sung. The installation was the work of a member of the Kirk Session, Mr F. D. Ramsay, who is to be congratulated on lighting the Church so effectively and well.