The Kemp Hall

The Kemp Hall

The parish of Deer was served, from 1899 to 1953 by a remarkable minister, Robert Sangster Kemp, in one of the longest ministries in the history of the Church of Scotland.

Dr Kemp began his career at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with honours in mathematics and natural philosophy in 1882 before graduating as a Bachelor of Divinity in 1885.

In 1924 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity by the University of Aberdeen. In his seventies preparing to celebrate his golden jubilee as a minister, Dr Kemp promised to to provide a Parish Hall for the village to celebrate the anniversary. The date, 12th May 1938, arrived and the Kemp Hall was opened. Other celebrations included a banquet, and a service of thanksgiving.

Dr Kemp ministered to a large parish, but had no car, travelling everywhere by bicycle. People still remember him, late in life, with ramrod straight back, riding his sit-up-and-beg bicycle to Peterhead for a game of golf, a round trip of about 25 miles.

Since 1938 the Kemp Hall has been at the centre of village life, religious and secular, and social activities take place there almost every day.

Elphinstone, Kathleen (No date)
Deer Parish Church, 200 years on, 1789–1989

(Revision date: Monday 7th December 2009)