Rev. F.W. Christie (1886 – 1923)
When Francis William Christie was appointed in 1886 the congregation were infused with a new energy. Though the debt lessened, it was at last paid off in dramatic fashion: in December 1889, Christie received a box by parcel post with £186 enclosed – in gold – along with an anonymous note stating that the amount was intended to make up the balance required. This final clearance of the original debt led at last to the consecration of the church on the 16th April, 1890.
Under Christie’s incumbency, the church developed: guilds were established for men and women, and the Choir Vestry was built, founded in 1905. Furnishings were updated, often designed by the architect Arthur Clyne, who had strong Episcopalian connections, or made by the men’s woodworking guild.
Though ten men of the congregation or connected with it died in the First World War, and a prominent member of the congregation, Lt.Col. William Bain Griffiths Minto, died in an accident arranging a gun salute to mark the end of the war, the impression from the church’s records is that the war had little impact on the congregation.
An ASC wagon belonging to Aberdeen Coastal Defence crashed into the church railings in 1917, causing minor damage.
A war memorial, however, was suggested as early as 22nd November, 1918.
More shocking to the congregation was Christie’s sudden death, aged 70, in 1923.
A fine carved communion rail was installed in his memory.