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Sabbath School examination certificates
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Sabbath School examination certificates

Good boy! My uncle's Sabbath School examination certificates 1897-1901.
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Picture added on 02 February 2011 at 16:04
The interested viewer, if there is one, may notice the change from 'United Presbyterian' to 'United Free' in 1901. This was in consequence of a vote by members of the UP Kirk in favour of union with the Free. What I'm not clear about is whether this union was later revoked; there was both a 'UP' and a 'Free' kirk in Stromness in my youth.
Added by Ian Hourston on 08 February 2011
The union between the UP and Free kirks was not revoked, but I imagine folk referred to the local churches by the old names for some time afterwards. Some Free kirk congregations (not in Orkney) did not join the Union and were dubbed "the Wee Frees". In 1929 the United Frees joined the Established Church of Scotland ("the Old Kirk") to form the present Church of Scotland. Some UF people did not join that union and there were congregations in Westray and Dounby, though the former is now closed I think.
Added by Paul Sutherland on 09 February 2011
Thank you Paul.
Added by Ian Hourston on 11 February 2011
I can understand a desire to stick with old names, but why would two separate (and in some ways rival) churches continue in existence? Would it be simply because the joint congregation was too big for one building? That wouldn't be entirely in keeping with my recollection of the situation, but I admit to a wealth of ignorance on the matter.
Added by Ian Hourston on 12 February 2011
There was also a United Free Church in Sanday in what was the Drill Hall.
It has been closed for many years.
I can remember an account of how the church was formed.
In the late 1920’s there was a movement for the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland to join.
At the original United Free Church a vote was organised by means of a show of hands.
The elders voted against and so did most of the others.
Later there was a secret ballot, counted in the Town, and this mysteriously gave a majority to join with the Church of Scotland
The majority took over the existing Free Church (the now demolished East Kirk, I think).
A few families were not impressed, so they continued to be the United Free Church using the Drill Hall.
At first it was called “United Free Church (Continuing)”. I do not know whether the churches which did not combine were also ‘continuing’ or was it that Sanday was different because of the split.
It may be gathered that this information was related by someone involved in setting up the 'Continuing’ Church.
Added by Anonymous on 17 February 2011
Very interesting post by Anonymous 17th February 2011. My father, Duncan Mitchell, was Missionary (Pre-ordained minister) in Sanday during 1939-40. His denomination was United Free Church. I am sure he mentioned meeting in the the drill hall. All UF churches had to be known as United Free Church (Continuing) for five years after the 1929 union. Then they were allowed to drop (Continuing)
Added by Iain Mitchell on 23 April 2013
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