Glass Remembered … Rev W.G. Guthrie

Rev W.G. Guthrie

In the passing of the Rev. W.G. Guthrie, whose death took place suddenly at the Manse, Glass, yesterday evening, the community mourn the loss of an ideal parish minister, a most kindly and lovable man, a gentleman in the best sense of the word, and one who had about him an undefinable charm that won all hearts.

Mr Guthrie, who has been minister at Glass since 1913, in succession to the late Rev. D.M. Ross, was a native of Peterhead.  He was educated at Aberdeen University and graduated M.A. in 1897, after which he was engaged in the teaching profession in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie.  He relinquished teaching and attended the Aberdeen Divinity Hall where he took the B.D. degree in 1898, with distinction in most of his classes.  He was thereafter elected assistant in John Knox Church, Aberdeen, where he laboured for sixteen months until he was elected to the parish of Logie Buchan, being ordained there in 1900.

Mr Guthrie was a diligent and successful student of Divinity, and the insight he received as a student missionary at Greyfriars, Aberdeen, was further extended when he became, on receiving licence, assistant in the neighbouring parish of John Knox.  Both as missionary and assistant he rendered splendid service, endearing himself to those to whom he ministered, and winning the respect and esteem of all with whom he came in contact.  With his experience and training it was only natural to expect that Mr Guthrie would, at an early date, be successful in receiving an appointment to a vacant parish.  This happened when he was elected minister of Logie-Buchan in 1900.  During the thirteen years pastorate at Logie-Buchan, MrGuthrie took a very keen interest in the work of the young, some idea of this being given in the fact that he conducted three flourishing Sunday schools in the parish.

In 1913 Mr Guthrie, possessed of a rich and varied experience, came to the quiet upland parish of Glass, where he ever kept in the forefront his duty to his own people, and was their friend and helper in the truest sense.  His sympathies were wide and his interests exceptionally numerous, and in satisfying these he lived a full and busy life, which was a joy and happiness to him.  All his qualities found their best outlet in the faithful discharge of the many duties of his sacred office, and his happiest time was among his own people to whom he proved a warm and interested friend, a wise councillor and guide.

A member of the old School Board and Parish Council of Glass and of the present Huntly S.M.C., where his knowledge and experience as a teacher were of considerable value, Mr Guthrie proved himself not only to be an able minister, but also a valuable addition to the educational and general life of the parish.  Mr Guthrie was deeply interested in the work of the Glass and Cabrach District Nursing Association, and for many years had occupied a position as vice-president of the Association.

Mr Guthrie is survived by his widow, three daughters and a son.  One daughter is at home, another is the wife of the Rev. P.D. Lawrence, Rubislaw Church, Aberdeen and the third is married to the Rev. D.N. Masson, Old High Church, Kilmarnock.

Two sons, one a lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders and the other a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, were killed in the last war.  The surviving son is in Winnipeg.

To the members of the family so sorely stricken, much sympathy is expressed.  Nor is it withheld from the congregation who have lost so loved a pastor, and the parish and district which mourn so reliable and kind a friend.

You can see a photo of a plaque at Glass Church here


Huntly Express May 29 1942




The funeral of this much esteemed minister of the Church of Scotland took place in (St Andrew’s) to the close-by parish churchyard.

As Mr Guthrie would have wished, the service in the beautiful church he loved so well and served so faithfully, was of the simplest nature, being opened, after an appropriate organ voluntary, by the singing of the 23rd Psalm.  Later, part of Paraphrase 48 was sung, and the closing voluntary completed the praise.

The Rev. D.Y. Howie, Keith North, presided; the Rev. D.A. Anderson, Rothiemay, read the Scripture passages, while the Rev. John Will, Boharm, gave the devotional.

The chief mourners were Mrs Guthrie (widow), Miss Guthrie, Mrs Masson and Mrs Lawrence (daughters); the Rev. D..N. Masson, Kilmarnock and the Rev. P.D. Lawrence, Rubislaw, Aberdeen (sons-in-law): Messrs Peter D. Guthrie, Peterhead (brother) Douglas Lawrence (grandson), William and Alexander Guthrie (nephews), and James Duff and William Duncan (members of session).

In addition to those already named, the other members of Presbytery present were:- The Revs. W.C. Bigwood, Keith; Jas Campbell, Cairnie: W.K. White, Gartly: J. Lamb Harvey, Mortlach: H. Mackenzie, Cabrach: and associated with them were Professor John MacLeod, Aberdeen University (representing the Rev. D.I. Cowan, Huntly), and the Rev. Wm Sutherland, formerly of Methlick.

The praise was conducted by Miss McGregor, organist of the church.

The Rev. H. Mackenzie conducted the service at the grave.

There was a large attendance of the public, many being present from Huntly, Keith and Dufftown, as well as from Aberdeen and the north.


In the same newspaper



ALL CLAIMS  against the Rev. W.G. Guthrie, B.D. who resided at The Manse, Glass, Aberdeenshire, should be sent immediately to the SUBSCRIBERS, Solicitors for his Executor.


Solicitors, 26 Castle Street, Huntly







Will be held in ST ANDREWs CHURCH

ON SUNDAY 31st MAY 1942

At 11.30 am




Huntly Express E  June 5 1942




As was expected, there was a large congregation at the service in St Andrew’s Church, Glass, on Sunday, in memory of the Rev. W.G. Guthrie, whose death and funeral were recorded in recent issues.  The Rev. D.A. Anderson, Rothiemay, was the preacher, his sermon and tribute to the departed being based on Psalm No. 17.

In what I have been saying today, Mr Anderson said, there has been the remembrance of him whose memorial service we are keeping.  It was characteristic of him that it was his wish that there should be no mourning, and in our service we would not strike the note of mourning, but rather of thankfulness for a long and helpful ministry and for one who leaves a gracious memory.

It was my privilege to preach the sermon here at Mr Guthrie’s induction, 29 years ago.  I remember well that fine summer day, my first visit to this lovely parish, the drive up and home by my good friend the late Mr Robert Robertson, then of Inchcorsie and latterly of Corskellie, who himself belonged to Glass.  I remember the kindly welcome Mr Guthrie got and the felicitous augury of a mutually pleasing settlement.  He was happy to come here, and the joy with which he came was deepened with the passing years.  He proved “a good minister of Jesus Christ” to you, and in turn he valued much your appreciation and kindness.

Thus today you feel the sadness of the passing of one who through these long years has been your minister, and we humbly pay our tribute to all that he himself was and that in his day and generation he was enabled to do.  Tribute will be paid elsewhere to his public service, especially in the sphere of education, and to his work for the Church in the Presbytery.  We remember him now as your minister and friend.

Mr Guthrie knew life’s joys, and in his own experience its deep sorrows.  He could speak the word of cheer and comfort with the understanding which personal experience gives, and he had those qualities of heart and mind which give the spoken word an added charm and power.  He had a genius for friendship.  He used to speak of a day spent with old friends as a “red letter day”.  There was something sincere and good in him that attracted others to him, and he had that fine quality of mind which drew forth the best.  In his heart, too, there was an extraordinary charity and during all the years I knew him, I cannot recollect him saying one hard or bitter thing about anyone.  And what a fund of reminiscence he had, going back to youthful days and the early years when he was a schoolmaster.  He enjoyed hearing a good story, and enjoyed telling one.  He had that quiet humour that made it a delight to listen to him, and who that heard him speak but wished to do so again?  Indeed, one sometimes reminded him of an amusing incident just for the pleasure of hearing him tell about it once more.  All that is past now, but the memory is good and something to cherish.




He spoke the truth in love, breaking the bread of life and preaching the gospel of the Prince of Peace with winsome and earnest tenderness.  I did not have the privilege of often hearing Mr Guthrie preach, but when I did, although I may have forgotten the actual words of the sermon, there was something I shall never forget.  It is the spirit which seemed to me to breathe through all he said and in his prayers.  Good though the words were, there was something in them and with them which lingered on after their memory had died away – the gracious, kindly spirit of a man of simple faith and devout mind, who like a good minister of Jesus Christ, in Goldsmith’s words, “allured to brighter worlds and led the way”.

More than once he spoke of the union of the churches her, and it pleased him that that event, a historic and I believe a happy one in the religious life of the parish, took place in his ministry.

I may perhaps refer also to one other aspect of the life of the Church here which was of special interest, namely, the service of praise which were held for many years on a Sunday afternoon in which Sir Frederick Bridge and the members of the Stainer family gave their help, and which were a source of joy to him.  Of this church building itself he was also rightly proud, and the symbolism of the beautiful stained glass windows specially appealed to the mystic in him, and he delighted to expound their significance.




He loved Glass, and could not bring himself to think of leaving it, although in these later years when his strength had failed, it must have been with great difficulty he carried on.  But if the flesh was weak the spirit was willing, and with courage and resolution he wrought unto the end.  And when his time was come, God took him so gently and peacefully that death came as sleep at the end of the long day.

At a funeral at Wallakirk, just a year or so ago, I remarked to him what a beautiful peaceful spot it was.  Ane he answered, “It is so, but I want to lie beside my church”.  He has his wish.  He lies beside this church he loved so much, and in the churchyard of Glass his dust will mingle with the dead of its people.  Here where he knew so much quiet happiness, and here too where he experienced such grievous sorrow, the body of this life will rest in peace until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.  So “the dust returneth unto the dust, but the spirit unto God who gave it.”

We are a reticent people face to face with the final things.  It is not easy for me to speak at a time like this or for you to hear.  And while as a friend I am permitted to pay a tribute of affection to his memory, I feel that it is only a very inadequate one.  For one cannot say all one should say or indeed that one would wish to say.  Another voice than his will henceforth speak to you in this place; other hands will be raised to bless you.  But for long years there will be those of you who will remember him and we who have been his friends shall not forget.

Our deepest sympathy is with Mrs Guthrie and the members of their family – those so dear to him and to whom he was so dear.  Nor do we forget the beloved son in far-away Canada.  May they all have much to comfort them in their sorrow and above all may “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation,” comfort them.  “Weeping may endure for a night buy joy cometh in the morning.”

Miss McGregor, organist of the church, led the praise, which was appropriate in every detail.