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Our Lady, Star of the Sea, and St Drostan

Fraserburgh

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 The corner stone was laid on the 1st. of June 1895, and just one year later, the

Church was dedicated by Bishop McDonald on the 18th June.  The total cost was

3,140, including the feu.  This cost was met by public subscription, the main

benefactress being Mrs. Grattan-Bellew, Lady Saltoun's mother.

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Messrs. Ellis and Wilson of Aberdeen, who had been involved in the building of

the Cathedral were engaged as Architects.  At this time there were between 

forty and fifty Communicants, but the Church was built to accomodate four

hundred, as the Congregation was greatly increased by the men and women from

Barra, Eriskay and South Uist who followed the herring fishing.

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Going back to around 1836, there were only six Catholics in Fraserburgh, served

from Strichen.  Before this it appears that the Fraserburgh Faithful attended

Mass in New Byth, along with those of Pennan, New Deer, Mintlaw, Strichen and

Turriff.

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           By 1891, the concentration of Catholics in Fraserburgh plus the seasonal

      influx of Highlanders, prompted the decision to build the Church and

      Presbytery in its present location.  Fr. Gerry, based in Strichen, and

      conducting Mass in houses and the Dalrymple Hall, started the

      fund-raising.   In 1894, he was followed by Fr. Henderson who had just

      spent a bleak year serving the Orkney and Shetland Islands.  We have

      photographs showing the Priest and the rough pantiled building in Lodge

      Walk which was used for worship before the new Church was completed. 

      (These photographs were given to the Parish by Malcolm Ogilvie-Forbes)

      Tragically, Fr. Henderson died age 29 in the February following the

      completion of the building.

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      The High Altar of oak, carved in M. Beyaert's workshop in Bruges was

      gifted by Mr. McGrath, Postmaster in Beauly; and the pulpit by Mr. William

      Grant, a local brewer.

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Lady Saltoun's kindness enabled a structural change to accomodate the two side

Altars. The Lady Altar was raised as a memorial to Fr. Henderson by his

successor, Fr. Nicol, who also had the Communion rail built. Mr. J. C. M.

Ogilvie-Forbes of Boyndlie had the Sacred Heart Altar built in memory of his

first wife who died in 1897 and is buried under the Sanctuary.

Fr. Nicol served Fraserburgh for three years, but he did leave the Parish free

of debt. It was left to the next Priest, Fr. Wiseman with the help of

benefactors to install the Stations of the Cross. This was done in 1911.

Thus the Church remained, much admired, until it was decided to use the Pulpit

in the most imaginative way by splitting it in two, the base being incorporated

into a new Altar, and the top, a Lectern.

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