Church and Parish | Thurso West Church

Thurso West Church of Scotland

Church and Parish

The town of Thurso has two Church of Scotland parishes, Thurso St Peter’s and St Andrew’s and Thurso West. In the Caithness Presbytery Plan Thurso West is described as a charge in full status, building essential. (The Plan is available on request.) Thurso West parish goes from north and west of Princes Street and includes the busy port of Scrabster and the smaller communities of Forss, Janetstown and Glengolly. The population of the parish is estimated at approximately 4,000 people.

The ministry of Thurso West is very much a parish one with 187 communicant members and over 100 adherents. People in the Thurso area do not pay particular attention to the parish they happen to live in and tend to worship in the church of their choice. This means that the minister and congregation are involved in the wider community. The style of worship pursued in the West Church could be described as traditional but innovative. For a period members wrote and produced material for drama in worship and two of their productions were featured at a ‘Church without Walls’ event in Edinburgh. Choral based events are also a feature.

There is a great deal of co-operation between the various churches in Thurso with an active fraternal organisation. This organisation deals, for example, with shared chaplaincy in Thurso High School and services held in the two local care homes. Chaplaincy in primary schools has traditionally been allocated to specific churches, with the West Church dealing with Pennyland Primary School. The previous minister was also chaplain for the local branches of the Royal British Legion and Air Training Corps. A further example of co-operation between churches is a shared service of Communion on the Thursday of Holy Week with the United Reform Church and a Walk of Witness along the Thurso Esplanade on Easter Saturday, supported by members of the Roman Catholic, Baptist, United Reformed and Free Churches, as well as the Fishermen’s Mission and the Salvation Army.

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Church and Parish