Ours is an elongated parish of some 750 inhabitants covering some 24 square miles. It follows the course of the River Tay downstream from Edradynate and Grandtully estates to its confluence with the Tummel at Ballinluig and Kinnaird and Atholl estates. It includes the villages of Strathtay, Grandtully, Logierait, Ballinluig and Balnaguard together with the many houses on the small sporting estates and farm lands north and south of the river. The economy of the parish is based on farming, forestry and tourism. Many of the working population are employed in Aberfeldy or Pitlochry which are equidistant from the centre of the parish, or further afield. There is a strong retired population who are very active in parish and community affairs. There are also a number of weekend visitors to second homes.
There are two primary schools in the parish. Grandtully School currently has 17 pupils and Logierait School in Ballinluig has 14. The main other faith group in the parish is the Scottish Episcopal Church served by St Andrew’s Church in Strathtay with whom we enjoy cordial relations.
The congregation comprises three formerly separate ones which united during the last century, Grantully with Strathtay around sixty years ago and then with Logierait in 1978. The previous Grantully Church building closed some thirty years ago and is now a dwelling house. The ancient church of St Mary’s Pitcairn, adjacent to Grandtully Castle has remarkable fifteenth century painted ceilings. It is now in the care of Historic Scotland and is the venue for a hugely popular annual service in July.
Strathtay Church dates from 1899 when it was established as a Mission Church. Both buildings are in generally good repair as is the John Kyd Hall at Strathtay. Our manse has been let for most of the six years our charge has been vacant. Our congregation currently numbers 133 with 10 adherents.
Until 2015 we had separate Sunday services at each venue but since then a single service which alternates between Logierait and Strathtay on a month about basis. When the month has a fifth Sunday we join with St Andrew’s Church for a joint service at one of the three churches. Communion Services are celebrated in May and November and there are special services for the Christian Festivals and Remembrance Sunday.
There are currently nine Elders and seven congregational board members and the Session and Board meet together around six times a year on the same night. The parish magazine is published every two months with a newsletter in between. With the linkage going ahead, we are looking to develop a website. There is no Church Officer but members take responsibility for cleaning and general duties including providing flowers and coffee etc. on a shared rota. We are fortunate to have a number of organists who share the duty on a rotating basis. Members also read all the scripture lessons. There is an active Guild and a Sunday Club for the young people and a Coffee Group meets weekly in the John Kyd Hall. We have an annual Christian Aid Service and various other charitable activities including support of the Perth & Kinross Credit Union and the Foodbank.
The congregation covers the spectrum of ages and backgrounds. Despite being without our own minister for the past six years we have succeeded in fulfilling the expectations of the congregation, having been wonderfully supported by Rev John Wilson and Dr Nigel Henderson, our Interim Moderators, who have recruited excellent and varied supply preachers. The lack of a minister has impacted on the provision of pastoral care but where possible elders and individual members of the congregation have endeavoured to compensate for that.
Our financial position has remained healthy although we will face new challenges going forward into the new linkage. Our style of worship would be considered traditional. Attendances at Sunday services vary between 25 and 40 with larger numbers at special services.