On Saturday 24 August 2019 a congregation of 220 met for the official opening of the new Fortrose Free Church of Scotland church building.
Due to serious structural faults in the former church building, it was demolished in September 2017 with the new purpose-built church erected on the same site.
The former minister of the congregation, Rev Sandy Sutherland, who had conducted the first two services in the new church building on 19 May 2019, welcomed everyone to the special service.
The present Moderator of The Free Church of Scotland, Rev Donald G. MacDonald was warmly welcomed and invited to address the congregation.
Mr MacDonald was a former interim-minister of the Fortrose congregation and is no stranger to the Black Isle having ministered in Ferintosh and Resolis Free Church from 1992 to 2003.
Mr MacDonald read from the book of Acts and entitled his address, “The Beautiful Church”. The message was very warmly delivered and received and was appropriate for the occasion, emphasising that while a building is necessary for various reasons, the true Church is the people of God—the Living Church.
There was a poignant moment with the mention of those who had left legacies with special mention of Mr Donald W MacLeod the former rector of Fortrose Academy and a former Session Clerk to the congregation. Mr Sutherland said that a brass plaque had been made in memory of Donald and his late parents John and Christina MacLeod.
The official opening service closed with the singing of Psalm 24: 7-10 to the tune St George’s Edinburgh. The roof of the new building stood firm!
Rev. Dr Arthur Fraser from the Avoch Congregational Church lead the congregation in saying “The Grace” and closed with the benediction.