Dollar Parish Church celebrates 175 years in fine style

It's not every day that you see Victorian ladies and gentlemen entering church on a Sunday, but this was no ordinary weekend for Dollar Parish Church as it celebrated the 175th anniversary since opening.

A group of ladies dressed as Victorians
Some of the congregation embracing their inner Victorian. Photo courtesy of the Alloa Advertiser

The congregation decided to mark the occasion with a special Communion Service as it could have happened in 1842, the year that the church was built.

Early Years

A more recent aspect of the past also took part, with the Rev John Purves, who used to be Dollar's minister until 2003, preaching the sermon.

A leaflet produced for the service gives fascinating insight into the church's past explaining:

"This service has been based on how Communion possibly would have been celebrated in the 19th century, when this church (previously known as St Columba's Church) was in its early years.

Ladies at the Victorian Communion
Members of the congregation. Photos courtesy of the Alloa Advertiser

"When the building work was actually started, we're not quite clear, however by August 1842 a notice appeared in the paper to say the Church was almost finished and 'is a very beautiful and imposing structure'.

"From the day book of the Kirk Session accounts, it would appear the church conducted the first service on Sunday 20th November 1842 and a collection of £100 0s 2½d [about £1037 in today's money] was recorded."

Part of the celebrations also included a flower festival, which spanned two days and allowed local businesses, clubs and organisations to join in.

The display made by the beavers
Different community groups took part in the Flower Festival

Impressively the event was able to involve all aspects of the local community, from the Brownies to the Bowling Club.

A community effort

Catherine Shaw, who helped to organise the Flower festival, said:

"There were 42 organisations who made exhibits for the event and teas were served throughout in The Burnside Hall.

"Entry to both teas and the flowers was by donation and the total sum raised was £1,300.

Some of the flowers displayed in the church
Some of the flowers displayed in the church

"It was a fun and happy occasion and I think met most of it's objective which was to involve as many in the Community as possible in sharing in the 175 Anniversary Celebrations."

Creative

Presbytery Clerk Rev Alan Miller praised the church's efforts, saying:

"It's great to see a church like Dollar celebrating their history right at the heart of the community and it bears witness to the importance that the church has locally.

"What a creative way to mark the occasion. Well done to all involved," he added.

Read the order of service