The History of the Church.

 

St Stephen's ChurchSt Stephens

The Church of St. Stephen is situated on the corner of Westfield Road and Dundee Road and was built in 1871. It was designed by Thomas S. Robertson, Architect, Dundee who was a founding member and the church was opened on the 26th November 1871.

The parish was disjoined from Broughty Ferry and Monifieth on 19th July 1875.

On the 8th November 1962 St Stephen's Church merged with Broughty Ferry West Church and became the present St Stephen's and West Church. The Broughty Ferry West Church had been formed out of the union of the Broughty Ferry West UF (United Free) and Broughty Ferry Union UF Church on the 10th May 1925. The Broughty Ferry West Church was originally at the corner of Church Street and Brook Street and was demolished in the 1960's and the Windsor Court Flats erected on the site.St Stephens 1911

The present Church building has some very fine stained glass windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and executed by William Morris & Company between 1893 and 1915. The three large Chancel windows are of the 'Stoning of St. Stephen'. Most of the windows were the gift of Mr James J. Watson, Ballinard, a Dundee Spirit Merchant.

The first minister of St Stephen's was the Rev James Cooper M.A., The last, at the union of St Stephens with the West UF Church being Rev Ronald Scott Thomson MA (list of past ministers)

Broughty Ferry West Church

United with St. Stephen's Church in 1962

The Broughty Ferry West Church which united with the St Stephen's Church was also the product of a union of two churches, that of Broughty Ferry West UF (United Free) Church and Broughty Ferry Union UF (United Free) Church on the 10th May 1925. the West Church (Pictured) was retained as the place of worship for the unitedcongregation and the Union Church was desposed of, the old building (in Fort StreWest Church 1911et?) became a grain store and then demolished.

Broughty Ferry Free, West Free, West United Free (UF)

The minister of the 'quoad sacre' church of Broughty Ferry (St Aiden's), David Davidson, came out at the Disruption of 1843 along with many of his congregation. Sadly, Mr. Davidson was terninally ill and signed the protest on his deathbed. According to one unverified account, he was staying in Edinburgh and was able to observe the Disruption protest procession from his sick room. The seceders walked from St. Andrew's Church in George Street, where the General Assembly was meeting, down Hanover Street to Tanfield Hall at Canonmills, where the Free Church was constituted.

His assistant, when taking the last service in the Established Church, invited the congregation to meet for worship on the following Sunday in the Victoria Inn. Until a Church was ready services were held in a hall in Victoria Buildings, Gray Street.

The Foundation stone was laid in September 1843 and the Church in Brook Street was opened in March 1844. At the formal opening of the Church a snowstorm prevented the guest preachers from arriving and Mr. Lyon, the minister, conducted the ceremony. It later became the West Free with the opening of the East Free in 1862. A Manse was erected in 1849. The Church was enlarged in 1856 and again in 1890. The East Free and Monifieth South Free churches were offshoots from this congregation.

Broughty Ferry UAS (United Associate Secession) Church. Union UP (United Presbyterian) Church.

According to the Old Statistical Account, about the year 1792 the Burghers and Antiburghers each started a conventicle in the Monifieth Area but they were thinly attended. Prior to the formation of a congregation at Broughty Ferry, secession families worshiped in Dundee, five miles from the villiage. On the 2nd May 1837, the Rev Matthew Fraser, minister of the Bell Street United Secession Church, reported to the Presbytery of Forfar that in April he had opened a place of worship at Broughty Ferry.

The building in which this group first met was the property of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen, and was seated for 300. It stood on the site of what was later the YMCA gymnasium. Robert Haldane had erected it as an Independant chapel and the embryo congregation was given the use of it without charge. The styled themselves "The disenters of Broughty Ferryand Neighbourhood in connection with the United Secession Church". After a trial period they were given som financial assistance and formed into a congregation of the United Secession Church on 16th July 1838.

The first minister called was John Robb who was ordained on 21st May 1839, during his first year it was reported to the Home Mission Board that in Summer the Church was crowded, pehaps reflecting to popularity of the village as a holiday venue, and that even in winter the attendance was 'excellent'. Hoever there was disention in the small congregation and, after two years in charge, Mr Robb demitted to 'lessen disunion'. An indiscretion alleged against Mr Robb was that he had attended the Established Church.

Following the induction of Duncan Ogilvie as minister steps were taken to erect a new place of worship in Fort Street. This was a period of expansion in Broughty Ferry. The new Church, seated for 400, was opened on 22nd September 1847. As this was the first church to be opened after the formation of the United Presbyterian Church in that year it was called 'UNION'. With the founding of what became Queen Street UP congregation, and a dispute in 1889 over a proposal to build a Church Hall, the congregation reduced from 328 in 1889 to 228 in 1894.

The History of St. Stephen's Church 1875 - 1975 (Booklet, PDF Format)

Sources - The History of St. Stephen's 1875-1975 & The Kirks of Dundee Presbytery 1558-199 by Ian McCrawKirks of dundee

The "Kirks of Dundee Presbytery" is Published by the Friends of Dundee City Archives - To buy this book click on the image of the book (opposite)

 

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