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The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian

Belief

The Humbie Church of Scotland is picturesquely situated but in a relatively isolated location. The church itself is full only for Christmas, Easter and Harvest Thanksgiving Services. As in the 1950s, in 2000 its availability was largely taken for granted for christenings, weddings, and funerals, by most of the population. In 1953 the average attendance was 60. Sunday buses ran to Haddington and Tranent but it is not known whether persons visiting other places of worship used these.

By the late 1990s the average attendance at Humbie church was under 30. The cosmopolitan nature of the population and the availability of private transport, allowed attendance at churches some distance from the place of residence. Humbie attracted a number from outwith the parish, and some Humbie people attended the Catholic services at Nunraw Abbey, Garvald, and others the Episcopalian churches at Dalkeith and Haddington. A number of Humbie churchgoers had Anglican religious backgrounds.

In 1977, Humbie and Yester (Gifford) parishes were linked, that is each kept its own Kirk Session, under a new minister based in Gifford. The manse had been sold off the previous year. In 1979, the parish was further linked with the joint parish of Bolton and Saltoun.

The church has been supported over many years by a core of local families. In addition to regular fund raising events, two flower festivals and other activities were organised to raise funds for specific needs such as the installation of a new organ in 1987, and the development of the stable block for the Sunday school and other functions. During the 1990s weddings of couples from outwith the parish (such as the USA), often in conjunction with Johnstounburn House Hotel, made a useful contribution to church funds.

Chronology
1938-60 Robert Bain
1950 new stained glass east window installed in memory of Captain P. G. A. Borthwick, grandson of the late Sir Thomas Borthwick of Whitburgh House, to the design of Dr Douglas Strachan
1952 Bell cast in 1620 by James Hogg returned to church after 100 years at Keith Marischal
1961-69 Norman Macpherson
1964 harmonium (installed 1906) replaced by electronic organ to the memory of the Rev Robert Bain
1969-74 William Rogan
1971 stable block developed for Sunday school
1974 Dr Rogan retired, manse remained empty
1974-77 Interim moderator - William Cowie Farquarson
1976 Manse (by then in poor condition) sold
1977 Humbie & Yester (Gifford) linked ie kept own Kirk Session under new minister, Alan Scott based in Gifford
1979 further linked with combined parish of Bolton & Saltoun
1984 Alan Scott retired
1985-98 John Wilson (later joined by his wife Rev Mary Wilson as associate minister)
1987 due to the efforts of the then organist Peter Smyth and others, the pipe organ from Norwegian Lutheran Church, Leith was restored and installed at Humbie, after a number of fund raising events
1998 John & Mary Wilson moved to Sutherland
1999-date Donald Pirie

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