Kettins Parish: Religious Development


It is probable that Druids practiced on a mound on the site of the current church.

Early Christian

6th & 7th centuries: A Celtic church probably existed at Kettins under the name of the Culdee Church. The Keledi or Culdees were a strong influential group who continued to exert an influence in Scotland even after the Roman ways had spread from the south.

12th century: A ‘capella’ or chapel existed at Kettins which was subordinate to the Abbey of St Mary at Coupar Angus founded by King Malcolm IV in 1164. It was one of six in the area at the time.

1249: The Chapel at Kettins had grown in importance. On 18 April 1249 the site was established in its own right. The house of worship was consecrated as “Ecclesia de Ketnes” dedicated to Saint Bridget by David de Bernham, Bishop of St Andrews. St Bridget was one of the most venerated of the Celtic Saints.

1249 – 1286: The ‘living’ (i.e. the income from the tithes paid by parishioners) was granted by King Alexander III (1249-1286) to the Hospital of the Red Friars at Berwick-on- Tweed.

1270: The name of Malcolm de Ketnes, a priest of the parish, is listed in some of the charters of Coupar Angus Abbey around this time.

1380: Another priest, Ingram of Kettins, was buried at Tealing. His memorial tablet in that church is believed to be the oldest known inscription in Scots rather than Latin.

Hier : lyis : Ingram : of : Kethenys : prist. :

Maystr : l : arit : ercdene : of ; dukeldy : made :

I : hys : XXXII : yhere : prayis : for : hym : yat :

Deyt :hafand : LX : yherys : of : eyld : in :

The : yher : of : Cryet : MoCCC : Lxxx

‘Here lies Ingram of Kettins, priest, Master of Arts. Made Archdeacon of Dunkeld in his 32nd year. Pray for him that died having sixty years of age in the year of Christ 1380’

1390 – 1399: During the reign of Robert III (1390-1399) a Royal Charter granted the ‘living’ to the Kirk of the Red Friars in Dundee.

1473: Kettins church was annexed to the Red Friars Cross Kirk at Peebles so the contributions of Kettins parishioners were supporting ecclesiastical establishments far and wide.

1533: Alexander Rattray of Petcur (sic) a local landowner, founded in the church an altar dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Post Reformation

1560: The Scottish Parliament voted to abolish the authority of the Pope in Scotland. Scotland officially became a Protestant country. Most of the Roman Catholic clergy joined the new Church and the people generally followed suit. Kettins was no exception.

1567-69: James Jamieson is shown in Kirk records to be reader after Kettins Church had become part of the new Church of Scotland

1884: A Mason and Hamelin organ was donated to the church by Mrs Mungo Murray of Lintrose.

1891: The Church Tower was built with funds from Misses Jane and Susan Carmichael in memory of their brother, Peter.

1902: The Lych gate was built by W D Graham Menzies of Hallyburton in memory of his mother. The original purpose of Lych gates was to shelter coffins while prayers were said at the entrance to the burial ground. [photo]

1959: The Reverend Roland M Boyd Scott became Minister of the linked parishes of Kettins and Ardler. The congregations remained separate.

1981: The linked parishes of Kettins and Ardler united with Meigle to become the parish of Ardler, Kettins and Meigle.

1999: In April, the Rt. Rev. Alan Main, Moderator of the General Assembly preached a sermon that marked the 750th anniversary (since 1249) of worship in the church.