This week I am going to outline the various ministers who have been Cairneyhill ministers since the church was built in 1752.
(There will be a post in the future outlining the changing theological points of view at Cairneyhill in line with changing theological points of view in Scotland over the centuries).
Reverend James Burt
The 1st minister was James Burt. Reverend Burt was originally from Leslie and was ordained at Cairneyhill on 5 April 1755. The church members who ‘called’ Reverend Burt numbered 62 men and 6 female head of families.
In 1781 there were 143 Church members in the parish.
Reverend Burt died in Dunfermline in 1792 and is buried in Cairneyhill graveyard.
Reverend Thomas Blair
The 2nd minister was Thomas Blair from Kilmarnock who was ordained at Cairneyhill on 13 September 1791. Thomas Blair was called by 77 male members and 16 male adherents (ie those who were not formal members).
Unfortunately it was discovered that Reverend Blair was unsuitable due to his issues with alcohol and he was let go on 14 May 1813.
Reverend Blair subsequently moved to Ayrshire and attempted periodically to gain permission to work as a minister but was never again permitted. He died at Stevenston, Ayrshire in 1820.
Reverend John More
The 3rd minister, Reverend More, was from Buchlyvie, Stirlingshire and was ordained at Cairneyhill on 13 September 1814. 44 church members ‘called’ Reverend More.
Reverend More and his wife had financial difficulties due to the stipend (ie pay) attached to Cairneyhill church not being high enough and so Mrs More opened a ladies’ seminary (about which I have blogged previously).
In 1837 the stipend was £96 (equivalent to £6,500 nowadays) and the church came with a house ie the manse, a garden and a glebe (ie a piece of land or fields) of 2 acres.
Communicants in Reverend More’s time numbered 250 and Reverend More’s entire congregation was 400 people residing in Carnock parish, 106 in Torryburn, 45 in Dunfermline, 35 in Culross and 8 in Saline.
On Reverend More’s jubilee in 1864, he was given many presents including 580 sovereigns.
(I will publish a blog post on Reverend More’s jubilee in the future).
Reverend More died in 1868.
In July 1866 the congregation called a new minister Reverend James M Copland to act as an assistant to Reverend More in his older years but Reverend Copland declined their offer.
(I will publish a blog post in the future on Reverend More’s obituary).
Reverend David Boreland
The 4th minister, Reverend Boreland, from Glasgow was ordained at Cairneyhill in 1867 to act as an assistant to Reverend More.
(I shall publish a blog post on Reverend Boreland’s induction in the future).
Unfortunately Reverend Boreland’s time at Cairneyhill was not successful due to money issues.
The congregation had offered a stipend of £120 but unfortunately the congregation reneged on this because they could not afford it and they did not want the church to go into debt.
On 20 June 1876 Reverend Boreland resigned.
Reverend John Moir
The 5th minister, Reverend Moir, was unanimously ordained to Cairneyhill on 30 November 1876. (He had previously rejected job offers from Belfast and Ardersier).
in 1876 there were 116 names on the communion roll and the stipend was £90 with manse and garden.
Reverend Moir became ill and died in 1895.
(I have previously blogged Reverend Moir’s obituary).
Reverend William Forbes
The 6th minister, Reverend Forbes, was from Aberdeen and was ordained at Cairneyhill in 1895.
In 1899 there were 144 members and the stipend was £90 plus manse.
Reverend Forbes served on Carnock Parish Council and Carnock School Board and was a JP.
Reverend Forbes died in 1943.
Reverend Robert McVicar
The 7th minister, Reverend McVicar, was ordained at Cairneyhill in 1943 but moved on in 1946.
(I shall publish a blog post on Reverend McVicar’s induction in the future).
Reverend William Cunningham
The 8th minister, Reverend William Cunningham, was inducted at Cairneyhill in 1946 at the age of 43 having previously worked in Chapelhall.
Reverend Cunningham was the last minister to live in Cairneyhill manse.
Reverend Cunningham retired in 1968 and died in St Andrews in 1994.
Reverend David Archibald
The 9th minister, Reverend Archibald, was born in India in 1913. He had previously worked at Bargrennan and then , from 1961, at Torryburn and Newmills. In 1963 he also became the minister of Cairneyhill.
Reverend Archibald retired in 1983 and died in 2002 in Lincolnshire.
Reverend Robert Henderson
The 10th minister, Reverend Henderson, was born in Edinburgh in 1925 and previously worked in Melrose until he was called to Cairneyhiull in 1984. Cairneyhill church was now linked with Limekilns church and Reverend Henderson lived in Limekilns manse. In 1985 his wife became an auxiliary minister.
The Reverends Henderson attracted a congregation – in 1984 there were 77 communicant members and 6 years later 203 communicant members.
Reverend Henderson retired in 1990 and died in Edinburgh in 1999.
The 11th minister, Reverend Norman Grant, was inducted to Cairneyhill and Limekilns churches in 1990 and is still the minister.