Until the middle of the 19th century, Episcopal Church buildings had been based on the Presbyterian model. But following the rise of the Oxford Movement which promoted the use of earlier Christian traditions into the liturgy and theology of the Anglican Church, and saw the Anglican Church as one of the three branches of the Catholic Church, there was a move to revert to a more ancient pattern of church design.
On 29th March 1854, a public meeting was held of the male communicant members to discuss the addition of a chancel and other alterations. The architect for this was Mr Hay of Toronto. The list of donors to the appeal for funding includes the historical novelist J.Harrison Ainsworth, the Duke of Buccleuch and the Rt Hon W E Gladstone MP. Various additions were made over the next few years but some time after 1860 the decision was made to build a new church. There is no record of exactly why this happened. The architects for this were Messrs Ross and Joass of Inverness.
As stated earlier, the church of St Matthew was built almost directly over the site of the previous church of the same name. It is not known why the church on this site was dedicated to St Matthew. This new church consisted of of a nave, chancel, south porch, organ chamber and vestry. The spire, originally contained the bell located at the SW corner of the nave.
While the church was being built, the services were held in the local school until its opening.
The church was consecrated by the Bishop of Aberdeen, with the Primus who was the Bishop of Moray and Caithness as preacher. There was a large congregation and after the service a meal was served to around 200 people in a hall in the village to celebrate the event. Speeches followed given by the Bishop of Aberdeen, the Primus and Captain Ramsey.
Regular Eucharistic worship has been held in St Matthews from that date in 1863.
For the 150th anniversary, St Matthew’s used the liturgy used for the consecration of the new building. The service was conducted by the then Dean of the Diocese The Very Rev Dr Emsley Nimmo who is now Dean Emeritus of the Diocese.
The interior of the church is exceptionally beautiful as is the stained glass in all the windows.
Episcopalians sufferer persecution because of their allegiance to the Jacobite cause. There is a Jacobite rose, Rosa Alba planed in the small garden to the west of the entrance to commemorate this time in the history of the church.