GAIRNEY BRIDGE, Kinrossshire


"The Patronage Act of 1712 caused much trouble in the Church of Scotland. In 1731 Thomas Erskine, minister of Portmoak for nearly 30 years, was translated to Stirling, and there he preached a notable sermon advocating the right of congregations to choose their ministers. Erskine and three other ministers were suspended by the General Assembly, and in December, 1733, they met at Gairney Bridge to constitute themselves the Associate Presbytery. This was the origin of the Secession Church, which - in spite of disputes and divisions in to Burghers and Anti-Burghers, Auld Lichts and New Lichts - spread and prospered till in 1847 it was able to contribute 384 of the 497 congregations which then combined into the United Presbyterian Church."

[Clackmannan and Kinross by J.P.Day B.A. B Sc., 1915]

An obelisk was erected in 1883 to commemorate the formation 150 years earlier of the Secession Church. The Rev. Erskine met protestors here and they formed the first Secession Congregation. They were protesting at soldiers forcing the church doors open at Kinross when a minister, not of their liking was elected by the church's governing body.

Gairney Bridge is in Cleish parish.