Archbishop of Canterbury visits Aberdour on tour of Scotland

From left: Rev. Jean Cook- St Columba's Aberdour; Mrs Moira Baynham, St Serf's Burntisland; Mrs Sadie Edwards, St Serf's Burntisland, Archbishop Justin Welby and Miss Susan Alison, St Serf's Burntisland.

From left: Rev. Jean Cook- St Columba's Aberdour; Mrs Moira Baynham, St Serf's Burntisland; Mrs Sadie Edwards, St Serf's Burntisland, Archbishop Justin Welby and Miss Susan Alison, St Serf's Burntisland.

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The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has visited Aberdour to encourage a new community faith initiative as part of a two-day tour of Scotland.

His visit began on Monday when he met with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House in Edinburgh and on Tuesday the Archbishop attended the Dundee Centre of Mission before joining the Episcopal congregations of Aberdour, Burntisland and Inverkeithing for a brief act of worship in St Columba’s Church in Aberdour.

He then went on to meet a wider group from the community at St Fillan’s Church in Aberdour later in the afternoon.

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, hosted the tour.

The Archbishop also met with the Rev Dean Norby who is the minister of a new scheme known as the Fife Church Graft - an initiative which brings together the existing ABI Churches (Episcopal churches in St Columba’s, Aberdour, St Serf’s, Burntisland, St Peter’s, Inverkeithing) with those joining them from St Paul’s and St George’s Church in Edinburgh.

The main objective of the Fife Church Graft is to ‘Connect Friends, Family and Faith.’

Rev Norby, who took the role on in the summer, said the Archbishop has been involved with similiar schemes before so fully supports the development of the Fife Church Graft.

He told The Press: “It was a flying visit to Aberdour but the purpose of the Archbishop coming was to encourage and pray for the community of Fife and the Church Graft.

“The Archbishop himself was very pleasant and there were no formalities - when I thanked him for coming he asked me to call him Justin which indicates the Archbishop’s openness and ability to connect with people being a businessperson prior to a becoming a parish minister and then bishop.”

The Fife Church Graft is a new initiative between the ABI churches to grow a new worship community alongside the existing communities.

Rev Norby is hoping to build on the existing church communities while creating a contemporary service for families and individuals who would prefer an informal service.

The first new contemporary service will take place in Inverkeithing High School on January 25 next year.

He explained: “We have three wonderful and spiritual church buildings but none of them currently have enough space for children’s groups, this is why we are using Inverkeithing High School.

“We are calling this a Church Graft because it is bringing together the new and the existing- valuing both by enjoying the benefits of reflective services while also providing a contemporary service.”

Rev Norby added: “The Archbishop gave us some very encouraging words and he was pleased to hear how the Fife Church Graft is developing.”