St Andrew’s History


History of St. Andrew’s

In 1877 Episcopalians in the area began to hold services in Tain Town Hall.

A year later “an iron church, calculated for 70 people,” was built “at a cost of £179 – 18 – 00”. It opened on September 17th, 1878. This Tin Tabernacle temporary church was replaced by the present church, built in 1887 by local craftsmen, using local stone, to a design by Ross and Macbeth of Inverness.

The Rectory, which adjoins the church, was built in 1898 to a design by Alexander Ross.

St. Andrew’s has been a committed presence not simply to Tain but to people across Easter Ross and East Sutherland.  St. Andrew’s is very much at the heart of the family of churches now celebrated as a group that works to be a presence for God in North Ross-shire and East Sutherland.

The building itself is of significant historical interest, housing one of the few unaltered 1914 C & F Hamilton (Edinburgh) organs, (and which celebrated its centenary in St. Andrew’s in 2014).  Much of the woodwork in the church is by ‘Mousey Thompson’ (Robert Thomson of Yorkshire) whose characteristic trade-mark is the mouse. The St Andrew’s ‘mice’ have been described as “running everywhere ”, and if you look carefully you will notice seven of them altogether, hiding on the Lectern, the Pulpit, the Altar Rail, and on the woodwork behind the high altar itself. (Similar mice can also be spotted in Pluscarden Abbey, near Elgin.)

The nave altar was designed and carved from American oak in 1995 by Peter Bailey, a retired architect who lives on the Isle of Skye. It was a gift to St Andrew’s from Miss Kathleen Montgomery, Organist of the church, in memory of her parents, Canon William Montgomery (Rector from 1935-47) and Mrs Montgomery.