This token was made for use in the Communion service of the Presbyterian Church.
In the nineteenth century, Presbyterians celebrated Communion - when bread and wine are shared in remembrance of Jesus Christ - once or twice a year. For the early Scottish migrants it was both a powerful spiritual celebration and an important community event.
The Communion season began with a 'fast day' (a day of fasting) during which Presbyterians could examine their spiritual state. At the end of the fast day service, those intending to take Communion on the coming Sunday received a token. It was usually inscribed with the name of the church on one side and a biblical text on the other. The design of the tokens was simple, as befitted a church which frowned on decoration.
The new settlers very quickly established the rituals practised in their churches back home. This token, with its image of a Communion cup, was made in the very first year of the Free Church of Otago settlement.