Mission Hall

The following is taken from the publication 'Gourdon in the 19th Century' by Robert Gove MA BA(hons) FSA(Scotland)

missionhall.

The Mission Hall had its origins in a religious revival of the early 1860s. From about this time a committee of three persons (Trustees) started to raise funds to erect a hall.

1. Captain Donald Ross, Aberdeen.
2. Joseph Johnston, Montrose.
3. Mrs. Jean Wyllie, Gourdon.

REASONS FOR ITS ERECTION

1. Seat Rents, ranging from 1/- to 3/6 a year were charged in Bervie Church (50 free seats)
2. Worshippers were expected to be well dressed
3. Walking to and from the Kirk and attending service could take 2 to 3 hours
4. Mothers and fathers had to leave their families for long periods
5. Many of the villagers had never been to school and found it difficult to follow the service.

"It is no slander upon my people to assert that many of them have been so Imperfectly educated as not to be able to read intelligently books of either history or of practical divinity and consequently they cannot be expected to follow and appreciate a corrective discourse from the pulpit"(1837)

 During the nineteenth century it was the custom during divine service for men to sit on one side of the hall and women on the other. Following the old Scottish custom the congregation stood to pray and sat to sing.

AIMS OF THE MISSION HALL 

  • Religious 
    Sunday evening services, mid-week services, prayer meetings, open air services, Sunday School (in 1854 William Coull was superintendent).
  • Moral
    The Victoria Lodge of Good Templers founded 1873.
  • Social
    The Mission Hall, being the only public hall in the community was used for weddings, social events, election meetings and meetings of fishermen.
  • Educational
    A day school functioned in the Mission Hall from 1868, until it was replaced by Gourdon School in 1875.
  • OPENING

    The hall was opened on 27th October, 1868 at a cost of £150, of which only £100 had been gathered in by the opening date. A Grand Soiree was held to mark the opening and was chaired by the Rev. John Glegg, M.A. (Parish Minister) and the Rev. G. G. Small (F.C. Minister). This occasion was fully reported in the local newspapers.
    A violent easterly storm was in progress at the time and two large Aberdeen vessels (Vulcan and Cora) were wrecked just off Brotherton Castle.

    MISSIONARIES

    1891-1898 George M. Ross
    1898-1904 George Erskine
    1904-1909 Donald Ross
    1909-1949 Miss M. Mclntyre
    1950-1951 Mr. J. Firth
    1951-1965 Mr. A. Ross
    1965-1971 Mr. Nicoll
    1971-1980 Mr. Sandison

    Gourdon Mission Hall is nowadays linked to  ArbuthnottBervie  and  Kinneff  Churches. Services are held every Sunday at 6pm. The parish minister, Rev Dennis Rose, takes the service once a month with guest speakers taking the other weeks.