Holy Trinity Scottish Episcopal Church, Stirling

Rev. Wilfred Bennetto Currie, M.A. (1947-55)

Rev. W. B. CurrieRev. Kerrin was succeeded by Rev. Wilfred Bennetto Currie, previously Rector at Longside, Aberdeenshire. Rev. Currie became engaged in certain processes of reconstruction. An appeal went out to all members to increase their free-will offerings. Charles Thomson was made a member of a newly-formed finance committee and Secretary to the Vestry. A new committee consisting of Miss Dundas, Mrs Childs and Mrs Hinves was formed for the Raploch Hut. No such committee had sat since 1938. Miss Dundas and Miss Belford were also asked to make a new inventory of church property.

Chancel during Rev. Currie's incumbencyRev. Currie moved into the rectory at 6 Gladstone Place with his wife and 10-month old daughter, Marjory. The curate Leslie Dover and his wife Connie also lived here, with the two families having separate kitchens. In 1950, Leslie Dover became priest-in-charge at Bo'ness and was replaced by Bill Lunn, who moved in along with his wife, Sheila.

Rev. Currie (Rector) and Rev. Lunn (Curate)Marjory Currie remembers that a Japanese day was held to raise funds - remarkable within 10 years of the end of World War II -  with people dressing up in kimonos. On another occasion, Rev. Currie and Bill Lunn were photographed outside the church (see left). Copies were made, which they signed W. B. Currie and W. B. Lunn, and then sold to raise funds. 

The Vestry was obliged, under the terms of the Spurway Trust, to erect a memorial window to the Spurway family. They also wished to put memorial windows in the side aisles to Mr Kellock and Miss Galbraith. Miss Goudie, who had designed the window depicting St Bride of the Isles, was no longer available, but the Vestry found Miss Chilton still at work and she made the Spurway window (St Elizabeth of Hungary), the Kellock window (St Francis) and the Galbraith window (St Mary Magdalene). Mr Thomson died suddenly in 1951, deeply mourned by all who knew him, and Mrs Thomson erected the St Columba window in his memory. In January 1955, Mrs Livingstone added, again from Miss Chilton's studio, the St Andrew window in memory of her two sons, both of whom had grown up in the Church. Ian, an RAF pilot, was killed over the Netherlands in 1942 and Charles, a civilian pilot, died in a plane crash, when returning as a passenger from Cyprus. All this modern glass greatly enhances the appearance of the side aisles. One other additional memorial was added during this period: to the Memorial Chapel was added the name of Capt. Neil Anselan Buchanan, 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, killed in action in 1950, during the Korean War.

Captain Buchanan was the son of Col. and Mrs E. P. Buchanan of Touch. Educated at Cargilfield and Rugby, he was commissioned in 1947 and served in Palestine and Hong Kong. On 6 September 1950, while approaching a Korean village, his 14-man patrol came under heavy fire on three sides. In the ensuing engagement, two men were killed and at least five wounded, including Buchanan himself, who was hit in both legs. He ordered the patrol to withdraw, leaving him behind as carrying him would make them too vulnerable. Armed with a Bren gun, he then fought a single-handed rearguard action, thereby enabling the rest of the patrol to escape, until he was overwhelmed. The ground was later regained, but no trace of him was found. Posthumously awarded the American Silver Star, he was aged 23.

Two “finds” took place during Rev. Currie's ministry. He was given permission to open a parcel left in the Bank of Scotland in the name of Miss Campbell and found there in 1944. It contained a large solid silver ewer and a paten, given to the church by an anonymous donor in 1845 and bearing inscriptions to that effect. There was also a chalice, probably the one bought for the first Barnton Street Church.

Bishop Gleig's bell was discovered in the possession of a Mr Askom who had apparently found it in a coachbuilder's establishment. Miss Tasker was sent to buy it back, but it was given without payment. Col. Buchanan of Touch supplied wood for a stand to erect it at the west end of the Church, where it can still be seen.

In 1952, 18 Abercromby Place fell vacant and, after inspection, was bought for a new Rectory. The old one at 6 Gladstone Place was sold in the following year.

Invitation to Rev. and Mrs CurrieWhen the centenary of the Battle of Balaclava occurred in October 1954, a commemorative event was held at the Castle, with the new Queen in attendance. It was a major commemoration for the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, as one of their constituent regiments, the 93rd (Sutherland) Highlanders, had formed the 'Thin Red Line'. This event was also attended by Rev. and Mrs Currie, as well as an old lady of the congregation called Mrs Munro of Auchenbowie. Mrs Munro had been married before and, as often happened in Victorian times among landed or professional families, she had in her teens married an elderly widower. Mrs Munro was presented to the Queen because her first husband, General William Forrest, had led the 4th Dragoon Guards in the Charge of the Heavy Brigade, the first phase of the Battle of Balaclava, which went on to include the ‘Thin Red Line' and the Charge of the Light Brigade.  Marjory Currie can still remember Mrs Munro and is fascinated at having known someone whose husband took part in a battle so long ago.

In the last years of his ministry, Rev. Currie received new purple vestments from an anonymous donor and Sheriff Murray's wife gave the church its Christmas Crib. In March 1955, Rev. Currie resigned to become Provost of St Ninian's Cathedral in Perth.

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