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Forres' St Leonard's Church to celebrate 120 years of worship in High Street building

By Jonathan Clark

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FORRES' St Leonard's Church will celebrate 120 years of worship in its current building on the town's high street in December.

The church building was opened in December 1903.

Locators of St Leonard's Church of Scotland in Forres...Picture: Beth Taylor.
Locators of St Leonard's Church of Scotland in Forres...Picture: Beth Taylor.

St Leonard's – then known as Forres United Free High Church – had previously been housed in Cumming St in premises now operating as a carpet store.

More than 1500 people attended three services held on the opening day of the new church building with chairs having to be brought into the aisles to enable everyone to have a seat.

It was seven ministries later in 1972 when St Leonard’s congregation came into being as a result of a union between the High Church and Castlehill Church at the other end of the High Street.

It took its name from the 14th century St Leonard’s Chapel, only a few stones of which remain off the far end of St Leonard’s Road.

Special events will be taking place over the weekend to mark the milestone in the church’s history.

On Saturday, December 2, a Christmas Coffee Morning is being held from 10am until 12pm in the hall with all the usual stalls and a raffle.

At the same time the church itself will be open. Everyone will have the opportunity to come in and browse a small exhibition of press cuttings, photographs and other memorabilia relating to the

history of the building.

The church will also be open on the Saturday afternoon from 2pm until 4pm for this purpose.

Locator of St Leonard's Church, Forres...Picture: Beth Taylor.
Locator of St Leonard's Church, Forres...Picture: Beth Taylor.

Then on Sunday, December 3, a Service of Thanksgiving is being held to give thanks for 120 Glorious Years.

Former Ministers and friends of the congregation will be taking part in the service, which will be led by Session Clerk, Roy Anderson.

An anniversary cake will be cut in the hall after the service to mark the occasion. All are very welcome to come along to all or any of our anniversary events.

A number of events will follow this busy weekend in the build-up to Christmas Day. On Tuesday, December 5, a Christmas-themed Café Church will be held at 12pm.

A short informal carol service will be followed by light festive lunch at 12.30pm. Then on Tuesday, December 12, there will be a Christmas organ recital, showcasing the talents of Roger Lander.

This will start at 11.30am, but all are welcome to arrive at 11am for some mince pies and coffee in the hall.

Finally on Christmas Eve St Leonard's Church has a Service of Lessons and Carols at 3pm in the candlelit church, which always creates such a lovely atmosphere.

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