New minister appointed to Fife church

Rev Dr Andrew Gardner, interim minister at Christ Kirk, Glenrothes, and  his wife Julia and daughters Bethany and Karalyn
Rev Dr Andrew Gardner, interim minister at Christ Kirk, Glenrothes, and his wife Julia and daughters Bethany and Karalyn

A new minister has been appointed to a Fife church having spent the last 14 years leading a multinational Church of Scotland congregation in Belgium.

Rev Dr Andrew Gardner said he was “very pleased” to have become the interim minister of Christ Kirk in Glenrothes.

The 52-year-old said he was looking forward to the “fresh challenge” of helping the congregation grow from strength to strength.

The post represents a “homecoming” for Dr Gardner who was brought up in Callander and served as a probationer minister at the High Kirk in Dundee.

“I am very pleased to be working alongside the congregation of Christ Kirk and look forward to building bridges with its people and with the local community,” he said.

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“One important aim is to help the congregation discover new areas of mission, service and Christian witness and thus enable it to develop a renewed identity.

“Interim Ministers are appointed by the Ministries Council of the Church of Scotland.

“We are sent to congregations that need help to move forward.”

Dr Gardner moved from St Andrew’s Church in Brussels, which has people from 35 different countries in its congregation.

It is actively looking for a new minister and is inviting applications.

Dr Gardner said there were a number of reasons behind his move.

He explained that his wife Julia started a new job with Angus Council in November, both his children, Bethany, 21, and Karalyn, 20, are students in Bath and Exeter and he felt that his flock might benefit from a change in minister.

Dr Gardner, a University of St Andrews graduate, said: “Lots of aspects to my ministry in Brussels were very satisfying.

“I enjoyed working in a well-attended intergenerational congregation that regularly had 35 nationalities present and as part of a transient community, was always changing.”

Dr Gardner said his time in Brussels helped him develop his skills in ministry.

“I had to learn to relate to people of different nationalities and a wide variety of backgrounds,” he added.

“I was able to serve the International Presbytery of the Church of Scotland in a variety of roles, which helped me develop as a minister.

“But after 14 years ministering in Brussels, I sensed that I might benefit facing a fresh challenge in my ministry.

“So I reflected on the possible options, one of which was Interim Ministry. “

Dr Gardner said his love and passion for the Kirk was as strong as ever.

“Faith in Christ brings a strength and a hope to life that the world does not offer,” he added.