The Rev. Charles Thomson who was admitted to the charge of Wick Old Parish Church on the 17th September 1840 was of the Evangelical Party of the church and arrived in turbulent times in the national church, which ended in the Disruption of 1843. In its simplest form, the Heritors of the Kirk, the landed gentry, had the say on who should or should not be the minister and could actually pick a minister without reference to the people, and install him into the charge. The people regarded this as intrusion, and rebelled, saying, no more, we will choose our own ministers, we want out of the established Kirk we want a Free Kirk.
The culmination of this was a huge meeting or Convocation in Edinburgh in November of 1842, where all in favour of "going out" would sign the resolution, they would then return to their Kirks and lead their people out. In the case of Wick it was a wee bit different. The Rev Thomas Brown D.D. in his book, Annals of the Disruption, which was published in 1890, writes;
"There were cases indeed, in which the people went beyond their ministers in their zeal for the cause."
As the crisis approached, he felt considerable perplexity, and, on returning from the Convocation, he gathered his people together on the 28th November in order to explain, which he did at some length, the reasons why he had NOT seen it his duty to sign the resolutions. (To leave the established Church) During his address the congregation sat looking at each other, much astonished, and after the meeting had been dismissed, the people, on the motion of Mr Davidson, Banker, sat still, elected a chairman, and asked Mr Thompson to listen to the proceedings. They went on to express their views, with much personal respect to their pastor, but in direct opposition to the sentiments of his address. It was then proposed that solemn thanks should be offered up to God, for the grace which had been vouchsafed to the 350 members of the convocation who had bound themselves to "go out" and this was done in a most impressive manner by Mr Donald George.