When Miss MacPherson Grant asked Canon Charles Jupp to be Rector of St Margaret's Church in 1874 , she promised him that an orphanage would be built. This became a reality when Aberlour Orphanage near Speyside opened for four motherless bairns on the 4 March 1875. Although the first home had only four rooms the new orphanage and church became a reality, largely due to the generosity of Mr W Grant of Wester Elchies who left a legacy of 8000 in 1882. Sadly Miss MacPherson Grant suddenly died and never saw the completed buildings. Further blocks were added when funds were available but now (2004) all that is left is the clock tower and St Margaret's Church and Memorial Gardens. In 1967 they finally closed the orphanage because they saw institutional upbringing as old fashioned. Small family homes were first opened in 1962 and continued to replace orphanages. Aberlour's HQ moved to Aberdeen then to Stirling. Today the Aberlour Child Care Trust works in Scotland with and for children, young people and families who need additional support, to promote their development and wellbeing. It has a workforce of over 700 and is involved in over 44 projects throughout Scotland.
Canon Charles Jupp was born in Sussex in 1830 and he was ordained in 1868 by the Bishop Trower, former Bishop of Glasgow. He worked at Clay Cross in Derbyshire and at St Nicolas Episcopalian Church in Newcastle where he saw at first hand the appalling poverty that existed in the industrialised Britain of the 19th Century. For instance, he visited a house where a family was living in one room furnished with only a mattress. His ambition was to provide a home for orphaned and abandoned children and when Miss MacPherson Grant asked him to become Chaplin of St Margaret's, and promised him that an orphanage would be built, he was happy to accept. The intention was to provide for Episcopalian children but he could not turn away any child in need. He was described as the Beggar of the North because of his tireless fundraising activities and he believed that every child had the ability to grow up and flourish in society, not withstanding the origins of their birth. In 1911 on the death of Canon Jupp, the Rev Walter Jacks succeeded him. The boy's wing of the orphanage was completed by Rev Jacks and named in Canon Jupp's memory. Burnside Cottage was the original four room orphanage built in 1875. In 1882 larger premises at Campbells Park, Aberlour were built thanks to the legacy left by Mr W Grant.
As demand grew the orphanage expanded and eventually the east block accommodated 300 boys and the west block housed 300 girls/babies. In the middle was the school. There were further expansions of the property with the creation of the infirmary, kitchen, laundry, nurseries, farm, swimming pool and in 1935 a holiday home was opened in Hopeman, which replaced the annual day trip to Lossiemouth. In 1967 the orphanage was closed due to a move towards small family units housing 10 children between 2 and 18 years of age. They were run by a married house-mother whose husband worked and the advantage of this was children being brought up in a family atmosphere. In time Aberlour's HQ moved to Aberdeen and then to Stirling. As mentioned earlier it was the intention of the orphanage to offer places to Episcopalian children only, but due an overwhelming demand the doors were opened to children of all denominations and admission cases were treated individually on there own merits. Children were admitted free, or on payment of such sums as the warden may in his judgement deem just. The general rule for admissions numbers and retention of children was made by the Management Committee. The Governing Body decided if children should be put forward for higher education and if not they found suitable employment for them and kept a record of their progress once they left. The policy of the orphanage was to give the children the right tools to equip them for life, for instance boys were taught a trade and girls were trained in the domestic service. The children were not abandoned during their training because all the outside companies were vetted and the children were monitored on their performance. If it did not work out the children were looked after by the orphanage till a suitable position appeared. According to former children of the orphanage the atmosphere within the complex was homely and not like an institution.
When the orphanage was established it was run by a constitution, then in 1934 the Educational Endowments (Scotland) Commission created the Aberlour Orphanage Trust Scheme. The orphanage was managed by a Governing Body which consisted of the Church, Banffshire County Council, and a body of subscribers, their function being to provide and maintain both orphanage and school. The Governing Body appointed two committees, the Orphanage Management Committee and the School Management Committee. In 1935 both women and men were eligible for election or appointment to the Governing Body. Internal management was handled by the warden who oversaw the day to day running of the place. The Trust Scheme was reconstituted and welcomed by the Secretary of State in 1968. In 1969 the orphanage warden became the Aberlour Trust Director and the new Governing Body was made up of 1 ex officio governor (Primus of Scottish Episcopal Church or his nominee) and 8 nominated governors - 3 nominated by the Scottish Episcopal Church, 1 nominated by Social Services, 1 nominated by the Association of Directors of Education, 1 nominated by the Scottish Counties of Cities Association, and 2 nominated by Subscribers to the Annual General Meeting. The Governing Body appointed a Chairman and a Vice Chairman from their own number and were responsible for maintaining, clothing, and providing moral training, welfare and religious education for those under its charge; using state educational institutions Also children were not discharged unless there was reasonable assurance that a suitable provision for welfare had been made. The new 1978 constitution allowed the Aberlour Child Care Trust greater flexibility to respond to the needs of children. The Governing Body then consisted of 1 ex officio governor (Primus of Scottish Episcopal Church or his nominee) and six nominated governors - 3 nominated by the Scottish Episcopal Church, 1 nominated by Local Authorities, and 2 nominated by Subscribers to the Annual General Meeting. In the new millennium the mission of the Aberlour Child Care Trust is to provide residential and community based care and support throughout Scotland for children, young people and their families whose development or well being is threatened by disability or disadvantage or maybe enhanced by timely intervention. Their aim has changed little since 1875; to help those children most in need, trying to work with as many children and families as resources allow. The main areas covered are children and families affected by disability, children and families affected by drugs and alcohol, young people at risk and parent and child development. Over the years Aberlour Orphanage enjoyed Royal recognition when King Edward VII visited the home on 23 September 1907, and on 21 August 1922, King Edward VIII and Queen Mary also paid Aberlour a visit. The orphanage survived two outbreaks of fire, one in the 1930s and again during WWII.