Chapter 7



At Pastor Clarke's meetings in Cairnbulg God's Holy Spirit moved in a mighty way. When the fisherfolks returned from Yarmouth it was like moving from one revival fire into another. Many telegrams passed from Yarmouth to Cairnbulg telling of the conversions which had taken place. The Gospel Hall was consistently filled and glorious times of rejoicing were experienced. Saturday night was usually testimony time. As these recently converted people got up and told how and when they were saved the atmosphere was charged with the presence of God.  One said, "I was saved in the wheelhouse," another, "I was saved while hauling the nets," Someone else testified that the transaction took place while he was in his bunk.  The faces of those testifying were aglow with the experience they had with the living Christ.

Every Sunday morning from 6.30 to 9.30 a.m. there was a prayer meeting. It was held in a net loft above a washhouse close by the sea and known as "Mary Clarke's Joe's loftie." Heat came from a small fire and light from a paraffin lamp, but the fellowship was sweet. Ages ranged from 16 years to 60 years and the spirit of prayer was tremendous. One man who was there told me how these folks "Grasped hold of the horns of the altar binding the powers of evil in the name of Jesus." No wonder Cairnbulg and Inverallochy were moved.  Evidence of this still remains.


In the afternoon on Sundays an open air meeting was held in the middle of the villages.

"Shodie Love" Buchan with his wife from St. Combs and Jimmy "Denley" Ritchie were well to the fore.  Those who knew Jimmy Ritchie thought his lovely white beard made him look like a patriarch.  Leaders in the open air work were Alex May, Will "Black Sheep" Third and Bobby "Soper" Cardno.  Two young lassies, Katie May and Betsie Duthie helped at these meetings in testimony and song.  They later went to be workers with the Faith Mission. When the open air services were in progress almost the whole village turned out to listen. The programme consisted mainly of glowing testimonies and joyful singing.


Baptism at Inverallochy in the 1950's.

  (Picture: Owner not traced.)

Baptismal services were held at the "Water Froth", a burn that ran past Cairnbulg Castle into the open sea. Whatever the weather these young converts would be immersed according to Acts chapter 8 verse 38 and 39. Reports tell me that God blessed these meetings in a mighty way.

Hymns like "I'm not ashamed to own my Lord" could be heard along the sands at St. Combs.


A newspaper report states that out of a population of 1500, over 600 professions were recorded in a fortnight.  Gambling had disappeared; tobacco and cigarettes had been destroyed.  Many prominent Christian leaders visited Cairnbulg and Inverallochy to see the work of God first hand.  One evangelist from the Glasgow area had to acknowledge that the atmosphere which prevailed was nothing short of miraculous.  During the weekdays fishermen and their wives would leave their mending lofts where their nets were being repaired and go to hastily arranged meetings in the open air, to baptisms or to meet in homes.  Salvation was the order of the day.


Bulgar Hall.

  (Picture: G. NIcolson, Peterhead.)

On Sundays after the prayer meeting in the mending loft the people of the villages would go to their respective churches. Some walked to the Baptist and Congregational Churches in Fraserburgh. Others went to Rathen Church and the local Church of Scotland. The Brethren met in a loft in Inverallochy. During the time of the awakening there was a spirit of fellowship between the different denominations. All were one in Christ Jesus.


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