The Free Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian denomination formed in 1843 when many ministers and congregants left the Church of Scotland in what is known as the Disruption. They did this because they felt the Church of Scotland was becoming too influenced by the state and was straying from their idea of 'pure' Presbyterianism. They wanted a church free from state interference in spiritual matters, which is how the Free Church got its name.
Throughout its history, the Free Church of Scotland has significantly impacted Scottish society and culture. It played a crucial role in promoting education, particularly in the Highlands and Islands, and was known for emphasising personal piety and religious observance.
In terms of Anglo-Scottish relations, religion has historically been a significant factor. Since the Reformation, Scotland has predominantly been Presbyterian, while England has been Anglican. These religious differences have sometimes created tension and conflict, but they have also contributed to the distinct cultural identities we see today in Scotland and England.
As for the Fort William Free Church of Scotland Lochaber, churches often play an essential role in local communities, not just as places of worship but as centres for community activities and services. Therefore, it is likely that this church has contributed to the cultural and community life in Fort William.