From Margaret Street, Albert Place and Fairfield Lane to Ness Bank, via Baron Taylor’s Lane and Union Street – here we have the most important material landmarks of our present congregation.
The Anti-Burger charge was first formed in Inverness in 1787, and, for a number of years, continued bravely under exceptional difficulties. For a short time the Congregation, as a body ceased to exist, but in 1817 the people again came together, meeting first in the open air, and then in one meeting house after another.
On March 23rd, 1821 the real history of the revived Congregation began, when in a thatched cottage in Fairfield Lane, Dr Scott was set apart as the first minister of the charge. In November of the same year, in Baron Taylor’s Lane, “the New Chapel of the United Associate Congregation in this place was opened” The members worshipped in this building till 1864 when they were able to build a new church in Union Street designed by Dr Alexander Ross.
During the ministries of Dr Scott, Dr Robson, and Mr Stewart, much good work was carried on; but gradually it was felt that larger accommodation was needed, not only for worship, but most of all for carrying on effective work among the young people of the Congregation and an excellent site in Ness Bank was obtained for £1700.
The present church was designed by William Mackintosh, an Inverness architect. It was built over a period of fifteen months in late 1900-1901 at a cost of £8,500 and was dedicated at a service on 22nd December 1901. It is now listed as a building of special architectural interest. It was planned with the church hall and other necessary accommodation under the church and so made the best use of the sloping site. The walls are of red sandstone built in early Gothic revival style and it is roofed with natural slate. At the northern end there is a gallery with access from the entrance vestibule and the seating inclusive of the gallery accommodates about 600 people.
The present minister, the Rev Fiona Smith LLB.BD, was ordained and inducted in January 2010
In the period 1787 to 2016 the Congregation has been served by 12 dedicated ministers.
"Lest We Forget" is the moving story of the men of Ness Bank Church who died in the First World War, by Bill Gow and Helen Mackintosh
The following documents have kindly been provided by Mr Jim Scott, the great grandson of the Rev Dr James Scott who was minister of Ness Bank Church (or the United Associate Congregation as it was then) for 54 years from his ordination in 1821 until his death in 1875.