Barry Parish Church


Although now the largest parish in the town of Carnoustie, Barry parish was originally a largely rural parish based on the small village of Barry, which is much older than the neighbouring town.

The existence of a Christian Church in the area goes back more than 750 years; indeed, it is possible that a Church was founded by disciples of St Ninian more than 1500 years ago, but this is uncertain.

However, when Balmerino Abbey was founded near Leuchars in Fife in 1231, King Alexander II provided many lands including the Parish of Barry for the support of the monks, and so Barry Church would have originally dated from this time.

An older parish church was replaced by a new building in 1800 in the middle of the graveyard in the heart of the village of Barry; now only a few ruins remain of this building.  In 1843 the disruption tore the Church of Scotland in two, and the Free Church built a small church on the bend in the road which was replaced in 1888 by the building we use today.

By the middle of the 19th century Barry (like Carnoustie and Panbride) was served by a Free Church with the Manse just above it and a school along the road - until recently Barry Primary School, though now converted to a small business centre; and an established Church as mentioned earlier, with its school just by the bridge and its own Manse further South and West.

The established school was converted into halls, these too became ruined and were pulled down to leave a garden that the Church still owns: an Easter morning service is held there annually.

The old Manse was sold in the middle of the 20th century and was burnt out by fire in more recent decades.   A sad ruin for some time, it has now been rebuilt as a splendid private home just North of the Barry bypass.

During the 20th century the by now United Free Church joined the Church of Scotland in 1929.  In Barry the two churches became Barry East and Barry West, and in the 1950s the poor state of the West building meant that it was closed in favour of a single congregation meeting in the Barry East Church.  The organ was moved from the West Church into our present building at that time.

In 1999 the minister, Rev Walter Stewart, retired and the Manse he occupied just above the Church was sold, being too costly to bring up to modern standards.  A new house was bought in Corbie Drive for the new minister, Rev Wilma Cairns.

In 2002 the neighbouring minister in Carnoustie Church, Rev Colin Caskie, moved to Dumbartonshire, and the Presbytery decided the time had come to link Barry with Carnoustie.  After negotiations with the two congregations, Miss Cairns had her tenure terminated in March 2003, and Mr Goss was inducted as the minister of the newly linked charge in August that year.

The Manse in Corbie Drive was sold, and the money realised enabled substantial repairs and upgrading of Church and halls in Barry.  This was possible as the Carnoustie Manse was chosen as the manse of the linked charge.

And so the story continues...

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