Kirk of St Nicholas
As the Chaplaincy grew in significance and demand for its services expanded, the oil and gas industry recognised its importance and marked the 25th anniversary of North Sea Oil by creating St John's, the Oil Chapel in the historic Kirk of St Nicholas, in Aberdeen. It was dedicated at a service in June 1990 which was attended by HRH The Princess Royal.
This very special chapel is an oasis of calm and beauty in the busy city centre. It is situated in a 700 year old area of the Kirk of St Nicholas, which historically has been known as the 'Mither Kirk' or 'Mother Church' of the city.
Apart from its beautifully designed furniture, a special focal point of the chapel is the magnificent stained glass window situated in the wall above the Communion Table. This window was designed by a local artist, Shona MacInnes, and depicts the traditional life, work and culture of North East Scotland and especially of Aberdeen, where it sits surrounded by its two rivers - the Dee and the Don. It depicts the work of agriculture and fishing, and of civic and academic life right up to the impact of North Sea oil and gas. Above this scene, at the top of the window, there is the dove, the symbol of God the Holy Spirit, looking down upon it all.
The chapel's unique wooden screen and furniture were designed and fashioned beautifully by one of Scotland's best designers and craftsmen, the late Tim Stead.
From time to time, baptisms and marriages are conducted for oil and gas industry personnel. The chapel and the adjoining historic Drum's Aisle are also the chosen venues for the industry's special services.
The Oil Chapel can be viewed when the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting is open, on weekdays from 10am until 1pm in winter and spring, and from 10am until 4pm in the summer months. A call to the Church Secretary on 01224 643494 will provide the necessary details. You are also invited to visit the Kirk of St Nicholas website www.kirk-of-st-nicholas.org.uk
We are always grateful to the minister, the Kirk Session and the Staff of the Kirk of St Nicholas for their kindness and co-operation whenever we wish to use St John's.