THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Presbyterian minister is called to new congregation in Edinburgh

From the News Letter, May 8, 1905

Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh
Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh

The Reverend Arthur Torrens of Carland in Co Tyrone had received a call from the congregation of Buccleuch and Greyfriars in Edinburgh, reported the News Letter on this day in 1905.

He had received the call during a meeting of the Dungannon Presbytery who had met with when “an influential” deputation from the Free Church of Scotland in the lecture hall of First Dungannon Presbyterian Church on May 5.

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The Free Church of Scotland had been represented by Mr J Hay, secretary to the Free Church, Mr Donald M Smith, writer of Edinburgh, and the Reverend J C Robertson of Rayney.

Mr Thorburn had told those gathered at the meeting that the presence of the Free Church of the deputation reflected “the value attached” to the call that the Reverend Torrens was receiving from Scotland.

Mr Thorburn added that if the Reverend Reverend did decide to take up the posting he would “find a united people” who would give him every support and encouragement.

When the Reverend Torrens told the Dungannon Presbytery it was his wish to move to the congregation of Buccleuch and Greyfriars the Presbytery unanimously agreed to release him from his current charge and to “furnish him with credentials” to the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland.

The News Letter noted: “Eloquent testimony to the worth of Mr Torrens and to the great loss which his removal would occasion not only to the congregation at Carland, but to the Presbytery at large, was borne by all the ministers and elders present.”