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The Sacred Heart,

Aberlour

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On Thursday 8th.JuIy 1909, the Church of The Sacred Heart was opened by Bishop Chisholm, of Aberdeen, with Mass being celebrated by Rev Colin Mackenzie, of Glenlivet.

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This beautiful little church is built on rising ground to the south the Burgh of Aberlour, and commands a wide view of the valley of the lower Spey.

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At one extremity it looks across at Ben Aigen; at the other there are seen the rugged slopes of Ben Rinnes and the wooded slopes of Elchies.

The building cost £1,250, and the Church can seat 100 worshippers.

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The design was the work of Mr.A.Macpherson Architect, Edinburgh.

 

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Externally the walls are of hammer dressed granite. Internally the Sanctuary is divided from the Nave by a simple rood screen, surmounted by a calvary. The interior fittings are in pitch pine.

The Church was built to serve the Catholic population from Rothes to Blacksboat as a mission station served from Dufflown.

By its connection with Dufftown, The Church of The Sacred Heart traces a historical association with the ancient mission of the Church in the Cabrach.

Shenval, in the Cabrach, ranks amongst the earliest of Roman Catholic stations in the Highlands.

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In 1746 it was burned by the Duke of Cumberland’s soldiers, and after that event, Mass was said in a barn until 1780, when a new Chapel was built.

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Protestants as well as Catholics, we are told, even the Minister himself, helped to provide the materials for the building.

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Around the year 1790, it was considered that it would be more convenient for both priests and people, to remove the headquarters of the Cabrach mission from Shenval to the farm of Upper Keithock, in Auchindoune.

In 1817, when the burgh of Dufflown was being built, the station was moved there, as it would be more central, and on the main road to Glenlivet and the upper missions of the Cabrach.

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The Church in Dufftown was built in 1825 and although Shenval is now almost completely depopulated, and nothing remains to show where the Chapel once stood, it is represented today in its daughter Church in Dufftown, and she in turn has provided yet another daughter Church in Aberlour.