Rev. Alastair Bruce
12 Union Street
Tel: 01358 723787
Mr. Neil Henderson
7 Davan Place
OS Map Reference: NJ959304
Car Parking: Available
Hearing Loop: Available
Disabled Access: Available
Disability Toilets: Available
Ellon Parish Church stands on a site that has been used for Christian worship at least as far back as the year 1132 when the earliest known reference is found in the "Book of Deer" (a 9th-10th century Manuscript). There may be some evidence of a much earlier connection with Christianity in what is known as the Pictish Symbol Stone which is to be found in the masonry of our church. Such stones are believed to be a relic of pagan worship, and their appearance in or near some old churches per- haps indicates where the first missionaries proclaimed the Gospel - just as St. Paul at Athens pointed to an altar bearing the inscription "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD", and said, "What you worship but do not know- this is what I now proclaim." The Ellon Symbol Stone had been used by previous builders without any thought as to its possible significance. It had been built into the north wall of the present church building on the right hand side of the window that is now the door at the new chancel end of the church. As it would have been completely covered by the building of the new North Wing it was decided to rescue it from complete oblivion and give it a place of greater prominence. The Symbol Stone has now been placed about five feet up in the stonework used to close the old east doorway of the church, and in a position below the large stained glass window.
After the Scottish Reformation of 1560 it seems that the church of Ellon stood neglected for about forty years. It required many repairs. Repairs recur again and again. The Records indicate that the Kirk Session had great difficulty in raising the necessary funds. (We seem to have heard of other Kirk Sessions in more modern times faced with the same problem). By 1737 the fabric of the church is in such a bad state of disrepair that a Session entry notes that it is agreed to erect a tent in the churchyard on Communion days "owing to the weakness of the lofts".
About another forty years were to pass, however, before it was finally decided to demolish the church and build a new one. A certain event which happened makes it look as if the Session and congregation were 'bulldozed' into making a decision about the old kirk. Apparently an old prophecy of Thomas the Rhymer foretold that on an Easter Sunday the kirk would "Collapse and that the catastrophe would be preceded by the perambulation of the kirk by a white bull". Sure enough on Easter Sunday 1776 a member of the congregation sitting in the gallery happened to look out of the window. Expecting the church to collapse any moment, he broke the window and let himself down by means of the bell rope. Apparently this produced such a panic that the kirk speedily 'skailed', while one old woman cried for help to dig her daughter ‘Oot o’ the redd o’ the kirk’ At the end of the day, however, it still took a demolition squad to knock down the old kirk and prepare the way for a new kirk.
17th April, 1776 - "It is agreed that there must be erected a new church capable of accommodating 1200. Several plans are submitted. That adopted is for one 80 feet by 40 within walls, at an estimated cost of £650 sterling, the materials of the old church being given. And so the present ungainly oblong, with an eye only to capacity, was reared, and was opened for service in 1777. (Thomas Mair - "Records of the Presbytery of Ellon. ")
The Church has been subject to a number of renovations over the years (1829, 1876, 1884, 1888, 1907 and 1967).