THE congregation of a Kirkcaldy church will be celebrating this weekend as the church reaches an important historical milestone.
The 20th anniversary of the consecration of St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Links Street will be marked with a Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning followed by a celebratory reception.
And it is perhaps fitting that the gentleman behind the purchase of the former Invertiel Parish Church by the Coptic Church will be hosting the anniversary liturgy.
Father Mark Aziz explained: “The Copts have been in different places in Scotland since 1972 .
“But until 1991 we did not own our own premises. The first priest to come and stay here was Father Akxious and he was the man who secured this building for the church.
“It is the only Coptic Church in Scotland and our congregation come from all over the country.
“Father Akxious was ordained as Bishop Antony, bishop for the diocese of of Scotland, Ireland and North East England in 1995 and he will be coming to the church for the Divine Liturgy on Sunday.”
The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the earliest Christian faiths, having been founded by St Mark the Evangelist in Alexandria in 61 AD.
The church has a rich history and having initially spread from Alexandria to the rest of Egypt, the Coptic faith is now present across the globe.
Father Aziz, who has been at the church for nearly 16 years, said: “In the UK we have more than 40 churches, and we have a large number in other countries too, including the US and Canada.
“We’re nearly 270 people of all ages.
“Our congregation is made up of people from 15 nationalities including Scottish, Irish, Egytian, Swedish, Sudanese, Lebanese, Spanish and Korean.”
When asked about the congregation’s thoughts on the church celebrating 20 years in Kirkcaldy, he said: “I believe it’s a gift from God. People often ask why Kirkcaldy, but no one knows yet!”
The Divine Liturgy will take place on Sunday at 10.00 a.m.
“The liturgy is always the same, but it’s what happens afterwards that is special,” the priest continued.
“There will be a reception with a display of articles and items from the church’s history, as well as a video.
“The children will be singing some songs too.
“As well as Bishop Antony we have invited representatives from other local churches, including Rev. Brian Tomlinson who helped in the buying of the church.”