The building is open every morning and you will always be welcome. If it is your first visit you will want to spend some time in the Sanctuary of the church itself. Its internal architecture is graceful and provides a wonderful setting for one of Aberdeen's finest churches. Designed by Duncan McMillan for the Free Church 1874 in early Gothic-style with a tall square bell-tower with octagonal spire. Side galleries were added in 1896 and then reduced in 1994 when the sanctuary was re-ordered. In 2000 we saw significant upgrades being carried out which required a huge amount of fund-raising effort over the preceding years.
Anne Begg MP expressed her admiration for the additional accommodation that was created at Ferryhill Parish Church when she declared the new facilities officially open at a special celebration on Sunday June 4th 2000. As she pulled the cord to unveil the plaque which now sits above the hall entrance, the long-silent church bell began to toll, and a specially composed "Fanfare for Ferryhill" echoed through the building, signifying that the Kirk's long established tradition of service to the community was entering a new phase.
Enter through the extended porch and you'll find yourself in the Foyer, elegantly designed to serve several purposes. It forms a meeting place where people can relax before and after attending services in the church. A feature of the Foyer is the glazed partition which separates it from the Sanctuary, allowing visitors to see right into the heart of the church at all times.
From the Foyer there is direct access to the Atrium, a brilliant architectural concept which makes use of the space between the church and the Large Hall. The Atrium is more than just an entrance to the hall area, it is a splendid space in its own right and is used for receptions, art exhibitions and as an extension to the lounge area in the Foyer. New toilets (including one designed for wheelchair users) were installed off the Foyer at ground floor level, easily accessible from the Church or the Large Hall.
At the time of these changes a new kitchen was also created and has been central to the successful operation of our Coffee Shop as well as providing catering facilities for many other functions. The Coffee Shop is open from 9:30 to 11:30 Monday to Friday and from 9:30 to 12:00 on Saturday. A varied menu is on offer besides tea and coffee e.g. bacon rolls, toasties, home-baked scones and the Aberdeen speciality of butteries. A cooked breakfast is offered on a Monday.
The Bell and Spire
The clock and bell were installed in 1875 by a Birmingham firm. For many years a man was employed to keep the grounds of the church tidy and ring the bell before Sunday services. In the early 1960s it was noticed that the ringing of the bell was causing structural damage to the tower. That ended bell ringing by the traditional method.
However, in 1999 Ferryhill Community Council resolved to make the bell the subject of its Millennium Project. The Council raised funds for the purchase of a new mechanism, controlled electronically, to strike the bell (as opposed to the old method of pulling a rope that caused the bell to swing). This method involves no stress to the fabric of the tower. Thus in the year 2000 the Ferryhill Church bell rang out after nearly 40 years of silence.
In 2012/13 major work was undertaken to the spire of Ferryhill Parish Church to renew the pointing, water-proof the internals and renew the clock and weathervane. This will ensure that the spire is in good condition for many years to come.