The church is located on the left just off the B9003 to Colliestion. Car parking is limited to the roadside verges around the church.
The parishes of Slains and Forvie were united about 1573, Slains being dedicated to St. Ternan, and belonging to the Knights of the Order of the Temple. As far as we know the present church was built around 1800, what is now the lower cemetery being the original manse garden. The present church was built on a small knoll just next to the farm of Kirkton of Slains and just before the road which takes you down to Cransdale or as it used to be called St. Ternan's Haven where he is supposed to have landed to found the church.
From legend we find that it was never a very peaceful place. Referring to Thomas Mair's records, you find tales of murder, alcoholism and even witch craft among the ministers.
One hapless minister was unable to control his intransigent flock gathered in drunken revelries in the various taverns along the coast and decided to join them. However he was given the benefit of the doubt as to his drunken state, it was termed Epilepsy!
There was also a certain fishwife named Margaret Cruickshank who had a most venomous and filthy tongue. It was said that when she was spewing out her wrath one could hear her from Perthudden to the Needles Ee and up as far as the Smiddy. As this often occurred on the Sabbath, she was frequently put to her knees in sackcloth praying for forgiveness on the Stool of Repentance!
In the presbytery records of 1620 the Slains minister was accused of witchcraft by a Dame Agnes Gordon, who stated that the minister claimed he was able to discover a thief by making a cock crow under a cauldron!.
At one time, in 1714 an attempt to ordain a John Forbes as minister was so vigorously opposed that a crowd of parishioners and elders chased the representatives from the village as far as the Waulkmill bridge across the Forvie Bum and he was ultimately ordained at Logie.
At the bottom of the present cemetery, on the seaward side, there used to be a spring called St. Ternan's Well at which there was once an iron cup chained to the wall. As far as can be made out this disappeared shortly before the Second World War. The parishioners would take a suppie of water on their way to the kirk on a Sunday morning. Inside the church there are memorials to the War dead and to the crew of “The New Fair Wind" of Collieston which sank with all hands off Peterhead, and also a memorial to a Major Evans, a one time inhabitant of Collieston.