St Margaret's, Lossiemouth

This is an abbreviated history taken from the original Minute and Register Books and as told by long standing members of the church.

Services were first held in St Margaret's in August 1911 - the Benediction being on 20 August 1911 and the consecration much later on 28 July 1917, by the Bishop of Moray.

The first baptism was on 28 July 1912 (the son of a member of the local coastguard). The first marriage was on 6 September 1918.

Prior to the building of the church, services were held during August and September in a room over the GPO and later in the 'Trainie' house at Skerry Cliff. When the congregation outgrew these premises, it was decided to build a church, so that summer visitors (from whose money the funds came) should be provided with 'Anglican' services in Lossiemouth.

To quote from the memory of Mrs Scouler-Buchanan - "The local 'Piscies' consisted of about four families, usually including the coastguards. In those days (pre 1914) there were no buses and very few cars, so the only times we were able to attend Holy Trinity Church in Elgin were on Good Friday and Christmas Day when we were able to go by train (having a day off work). At other times, apart from the summer services, we attended the 'Established Church' (presumably the Church of Scotland locally).

When Dean Robertson succeeded Dean Hay-Dinwoody, monthly services of Holy Communion were instituted.

During World War II, St Margaret's was taken over by the Royal Navy as their Anglican Church.

The basic structure of the church has remained unaltered (the architect was Mr G Pratt of Elgin). However the interior furnishings have been considerably improved over the years.

Lady William Gordon-Cumming (Florence Garners), an American heiress, married Sir William in 1890. She was a devout Episcopalian and had a resident priest. She restored the Michael Kirk at Gordonstoun and built a chapel at Altyre House, and it was from this chapel that the following items were received for use in St Margaret's:- Pulpit, Lectern, Font, Altar Rail, Altar Table, Credence Table, 12 pews and wooden chairs, Brass Cross, Harmonium, Hymn Books, Hymn Board and two seats for the clergy.

In 1958 when the coast road was opened, the congregation in Hopeman, who had held monthly services in the Station Hotel for a number of years, decided to join with St Margaret's. It was also in 1958 that electric lighting and heating was installed in the church.

In 1960 the markers and gates were given by Mrs Bolton and Mrs Taylor respectively and in 1961 the Communion Vessels, in an inscribed wooded cabinet, were given by Dean Hay-Dinwoodie to be shared by Elgin and Lossiemouth churches.

The inscribed Chalice was given by Miss Rose Benton in memory of Mary Benton and Mrs Bolton in 1964. The hassocks were recovered in 1965 by Mrs Lyon-Dean and ladies of the congregation.

The present pulpit was made at Gordonstoun by Charles and Alistair Lyon-Dean. However this is currently stored to allow more flexible use of the church space.

The two stained glass windows were made at Pluscarden Abbey and given by Mrs Scouler-Buchanan and family in 1968.

The badge of the Queen's Nurses on St Margaret's Window, was incorporated in memory of the work of Mr and Mrs Hair for the promotion of the District Nursing Association. The Red Cross on the St Luke Window was incorporated to commerorate the meeting of Miss Hair and Dr Scouler-Buchanan during their Red Cross work in France.

The small triangular section at the top, between the two windows, depicts the Bishop of Moray's Coat of Arms.

Prior to the building of St Margaret's in 1911, Anglican services were conducted from time to time in Lossiemouth by Rectors of Holy Trinity, Elgin. Records show that this started with Rev Ferguson in 1853. The Right Reverend Mark Strange was Rector until he was installed as Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness. A list of all those clergy who served inbetween those dates is held in the church.