05 July 2016
Nigg Old Trust 25th Anniversary

On Sunday 3rd July a special service was held at Nigg Old Church to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the  formation of Nigg Old Trust.


In 1990 the Church of Scotland felt it was unsustainable to retain two places of worship in Nigg so they decided to cease using Nigg Old and use Chapelhill as the parish church.  Appreciating the need to preserve such an historic and important religious site along with the Nigg Pictish Monument a charitable trust was formed under the chairmanship of Douglas Budge of Easter Rarichie with the following founding trustees, Helen Campbell who is still an incredibly active member of the Trust and also it’s vice chair, Isobel Mackenzie, whose son Kenneth and grandson Robert are both current Trustees. Sandra MacLennan  Alexander Ross, Tom Russell, Mark Elliot and Harold Gregory.


Doug Budge and the trustees set out the following aims

“On 22nd February 1991 Nigg Old Trust was formed in order to acquire Nigg Old Church from the Church of Scotland and preserve it as a place of interest for future generations. Nigg Old is the third church on this site so obviously of great importance.  It also houses one of the three Pictish Cross - Slabs which is a scheduled monument.


Unfortunately the building is in need of urgent repair to preserve its structure also the slab was found to be bearing the weight of the loft floor. The trust has taken steps to ensure that the slab is safe for the time being but it is essential that the work should start as quickly as possible so that the trust can open the building and the slab to the public as part of the Pictish Trail”


Since the formation of the Trust £330,000 has been raised for preservation projects mostly from funding bodies however nearly £40,000 of that amount has been raised here in Nigg by the people of this community.


Very suddenly and very prematurely Doug Budge passed away in 1994 only three years after the trust was formed, however in that time he achieved a great deal and his legacy is enduring perhaps best described in a poem he himself chose to best reflect the work of the trust.


“We are the heirs of ages past

  Whose lot is in the present cast

  We reap what others sowed

  The way we tread must yet be worn

  By generations yet unborn

  To whom our lives are owed”

H B Tristram


This poem along with the names of the founding trustees are included in a new plaque which was unveiled by Doug’s wife Liz at the service on Sunday. Liz succeeded Doug as chairman of the trust and retired in 2014 giving 20 years of dedicated service to Nigg Old. Many of the projects carried out at the church were completed in her time of office culminating in our most ambitious project to re-display the Nigg Cross-Slab in 2013.


The work of Nigg Old Trust is ongoing and we are indebted to our group of dedicated volunteers who ensure that the building is cared for and opened for the 5000 visitors who come to the church from all over the world. 


Grateful thanks also to Rev Robert Pickles for not only allowing us to participate in of one of his Sunday services to celebrate our 25th anniversary but also for ensuring that there is again an opportunity for the Nigg Community to take part in worship at Nigg Old.


Alan Whiteford


Nigg Old Trust


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