St Machar’s has stood at 40, Oldmeldrum Road, Bucksburn for over 130 years. It exists for the glory and service of God and therefore for the service of people and the passing on of the Gospel (‘Good News’) of Jesus Christ. As Bucksburn became more industrialized, an episcopalian congregation was formed in the Volunteer Drill Hall in 1874. The foundation of the Church was laid by Bishop Suther on 27 April 1879 and it was opened and dedicated on 12 June 1880.The building was designed by Matthews & McKenzie, Architects of Aberdeen. It provided seating for 320. It is a granite building of cruciform plan with a semicircular apse and high-pitched roof, lined by a superb wooden ceiling. An early account points out that, although there is no spire, “the external effect is stately and pleasing”. Latterly the west end of the nave has been partitioned off to provide a lounge area with kitchen and toilets.
The east end has beautiful wall decoration in art nouveau style and fine stained glass. It is recorded that the Church was reopened, with special services, on Saturday 7 September 1901, “on the completion of the scheme of decoration carried out by the rising Aberdeen artist Mr R. Douglas Strachan”. The sanctuary walls are adorned by four of his paintings (permanently applied) showing “four typical Epiphanies of the Incarnation, i.e. scenes from the Gospels: Adoration of the Magi, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection. They wonderfully illustrate the Church’s message of Jesus Christ.
The east end is also enhanced by windows depicting (from north to south) St Margaret, St Machar, the Good Shepherd, St Andrew, and Jesus Christ again. The excellent tracker-action organ by Wadsworth, dating from about 1901, harmonises aurally and visually with the Church.
The earlier clergy, Dean Wiseman, Canon Pennie, Canon Mantle, Canon Gallie and Bishop Begg are well remembered in Bucksburn. The present Rector (on a non-stipendiary basis) is the Rev’d Dr Duncan Heddle , who is also an Honorary Lecturer and Chaplain at the University of Aberdeen.
A service is held at 11.00am every Sunday and Christmas Day, at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve and at 7.30pm on Ash Wednesday,Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Ascension Day. All are most warmly welcome at St Machar’s: Why not come along?
We are part of the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney and of the world-wide Anglican Communion and we have strong ecumenical links with the other local churches through the Brimmond Association.