A church-full of people gathered in Turakina on Sunday to celebrate their Scottish heritage with The Kirkin' o' the Tartan.

Inside St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, a few were dressed in kilts as they played the bagpipes, sang songs and prayed together.

Families such as Smith, Barber and Muir were represented at the event through items such as flags, crests and mottos.

Attendees proudly presented family crests and banners at the Kirkin' o' the Tarten as shown by Kate Smith (second from right). Photo / Lewis Gardner
Attendees proudly presented family crests and banners at the Kirkin' o' the Tarten as shown by Kate Smith (second from right). Photo / Lewis Gardner

Another well-known family represented was the Grant family, through Ewen and secretary of the Bulls/Turakina Presbyterian Church, Roz.

Advertisement

"After Scottish forces were defeated in the Battle of Culloden, the wearing or displaying of tartans became punishable by death in Scotland," Roz Grant said.

"They used to go up into the mountains and have church services in secret because they weren't allowed to have their own.

Ewen Grant led the charge inside the Bulls/Turakina Presbyterian Church. Photo / Lewis Gardner
Ewen Grant led the charge inside the Bulls/Turakina Presbyterian Church. Photo / Lewis Gardner

"They'd hide a piece of tartan and they'd take it up to be blessed. If the soldiers caught them with a piece of tartan, well that was it."

Despite its Scottish ties, The Kirkin' o' the Tartan is more of an American celebration.

"Kirkin' o' the Tartan's not actually celebrated in Scotland, it's really an American thing. It's a way of celebrating our Scottish heritage," Grant said.

The church was full of people surrounded by tartan who were singing, praying and enjoying the sound of the bagpipes. Photo / Lewis Gardner
The church was full of people surrounded by tartan who were singing, praying and enjoying the sound of the bagpipes. Photo / Lewis Gardner

"This Kirkin' o' the Tartan was started by the evangelist Peter Marshall in America when he wanted to raise funds for World War II to send back to England."

Reverend Peter Marshall is perhaps best known for the biographical book and film A Man Called Peter.

He was originally from Scotland and was a pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington DC.

The Scottish flag flew high on a beautiful Turakina day in which families celebrated their Scottish heritage. Photo / Lewis Gardner
The Scottish flag flew high on a beautiful Turakina day in which families celebrated their Scottish heritage. Photo / Lewis Gardner