- Published: Wednesday, 03 April 2013 13:26
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The Church had played a large part in Culter’s past. The church of St. Peters stands on the site of an ancient chapel. For 800 years, where the Dee and the Culter burn meet, local people have worshipped and witnessed the cycles of life here. Names in the local area recollect the spread of small farming hamlets or farm “towns” : Craigton; Alton; Hilton; Eddieston; Anguston; Cairnton. All were now united under the umbrella of the Church.
Originally gifted by a charter of 1165-1199 from William the Lion to the Abbey of Kelso, St. Peter’s Church now gave its name to the community and surrounding parish of Peterculter.
St Peter's Church in Culter has a unique set of Kirk Sessions records which detail the life of the community from 1674 to the close of the 20th Century.
MINISTRY OF MASTER JOHN IRVINE
At the Church of Peterculter
the Elleventh day of Januarie
Admission of Master John Irvine.
The said day being the Sabbath Mr David Lindsay, Minister of Drumoak preached on Acts 20 Vers. 28, and did receive and admit Master John Irvine (late Minister at Kilmalcome in the Diocese of Glasgow and presbetrie of Paisley) to the ministrie of the Church at Peterculter.
The day being far spent err Sermon was ended yr was no Session.
January 18 - 1674. The minister preached Text Matth. 3 v. 2
Ordinances for a Session Book and ane sand glasse.
The said day after prayer the minister and elders finding yt yr is no Session Book but one in 4\' bound in parchment beginning at the 24th day of October 1661 and ending at Febry. 9, 1668 find it fit yr one be prepared wt all qvenient diligence.
Also finding the sand glasse to be broken by the ruins of the fabrick of the kirk ( wch fell to the ground upon the 16th day of October 1673) they appoint yt one be bought.
There have been several buildings on the site. The present church dates from 1779. On July 10th, 1779 two workmen were killed by lightning on the nearby farm Alton (Oldtown) as they collected stone for the building. Two stones placed to mark the fatal spot were removed during the construction of the Peterculter Golf Course. These have been loaned to the Heritage Trust , by Gerald Middleton of Oldtown Farm, and can be seen at the St Peter's Heritage Centre.
After the reconstruction of St Peter\'s, the building has gone through some changes, and additions, to the original rectangular structure. It was altered in 1873 by James Matthews and in 1895 by Alexander Brown. The surrounding graveyard has been extended several times and the grounds have a late 18th century watch tower.
A Free Church also served the parishioners of Culter after the Disruption of 1843. This happened on 18th May 1843, after the passing of the Patronage Act, when more than 400 ministers walked out of the General Assembly in Edinburgh to form the Free Church. This building stood to the North of the village at Beans Hill. In 1894, a new Free Church was completed on the main road in the village. This church eventually became known as the Kelman Memorial Church after its first minister John Kelman.
In 1998, the decision was taken by the Church of Scotland to amalgamate the churches and continue worship in one building. Kelman Memorial Church subsequently was renamed as Peterculter Parish church and the congregations merged in March 1999. St. Peter’s conducted its last ceremony, a wedding, on Saturday 4th September 1999 when a Culter lass Diane Irvine married her groom Gordon Annand. Eight hundred years of continuous worship came to an end.
However, St. Peter’s began a new era in the life of the village when it formally opened on 2 June 2001 as the ST PETER'S HERITAGE CENTRE.