The Highland Perthshire Group of Churches
A charge in the Scottish Episcopal Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, it was formed in 2014 as part of a wider reorganisation of congregations in this part of the Diocese and is made up of the congregations of Holy Trinity, Pitlochry, Kilmaveonaig, (St Adamnan’s) Blair Atholl, St Andrew’s, Strathtay, and All Saints, Kinloch Rannoch.
As part of the Scottish Episcopal Church we are a Province of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, independent and interdependent, just as the Churches of England, Ireland and Wales are also.
Our roots are traced to the beginnings of Christianity in Scotland from about 400AD. The distinctive identity of the Church was shaped by the Scottish Reformation which was followed by over a century of alternating between an Episcopal or Presbyterian national church until the 1689 Revolution established the national Church of Scotland as Presbyterian and an independent non-established Scottish Episcopal Church was formed.
Episcopal comes from the word for ‘Bishops' because we have maintained that form of church order of bishops, priests and deacons and our church maintains a fully sacramental and liturgical life. We also take part in the life of Christian witness in Scotland undertaking Mission and Service to the nation and to our local communities.
In Highland Perthshire we are in a major tourist area with beautiful surroundings, a place of mountain and flood with forests, iconic rivers (the Tay, Tummel and Garry) and attractive towns and villages the charge covers an extensive area and includes Aberfeldy, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl and Kinloch Rannoch, Fortingall, Glen Lyon and the iconic ‘ by Tummel and Loch Rannoch’ part of the famous ‘road to the isles’. It is an area rich in history with traces of the Romans (who came as far Fortingall), the Picts, ( there are Pictish carved stones all around including the Dunfallandy Stone, (Pitlochry), the celtic saints particularly St Adamnan or Eonan (who Kilmaveonaig is named after). Adamnan travelled around Highland Perthshire and many stories of him abound.
Ones tells that as he grew near the end of his life, he was asked by the people of Glen Lyon where he would like to be buried. He told them to build him a bier and attach ‘lunnan’ or sticks to it for carrying; these should be lashed to the coffin with ‘dullan’ – whips of withy (willow). His friends were to bear him down the glen, and when the first withy strap broke, that was where he should be buried. It’s impossible to know how true this is, but it’s a perfect explanation for the rather strangely named village of Dull, between Fortingall and Aberfeldy, which is the place where the first withy strap broke and he was traditionally laid to rest.
The area also boasts it, castles, Blair Castle (the seat of the Dukes of Atholl, which dates back to 1269 and is home to the Atholl Highlanders, Europe's last remaining private army) Castle Menzies (where Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed as he retreated from his defeat 1745) and battle sites (notably the Battle of Killiecrankie 1689), the ruins of Caisteal Dubh (Black Castle) which stands on the outskirts of Pitlochry. It originally stood within a loch (since drained) either upon a crannog or a low mound.and was abandoned and destroyed after an outbreak of plague in 16th C. In Aberfeldy we find the Black Watch Monument (which commemorates the famous regiment that was originally raised here to "watch" the rebellious Highland clans).
We are an open and friendly group of churches with a warm welcome for visitors and any seeking to explore their faith, to talk or to join us for Sunday worship or other activities. We welcome young and old alike. For all further details please see our Calendar page for service times and our Contacts page for further details of who to speak to.