“THE hardest decision we have ever had to make” is how St Bryce Kirk has described the sell-off of Kirkcaldy’s Old Kirk.
And it says that the heartbreaking option to dispose of the historic building was forced upon it by falling congregation numbers, rising maintenance costs and higher insurance.
The church’s response came following criticism from the new Trust body, set up to maintain the Old Kirk for future generations of Langtonians, over the appearance of an advert on a church website offering items of furniture from the Old Kirk which were surplus to requirements.
Beryl Luke, clerk to the congregational board at St Bryce Kirk, said recent stories about the Old Kirk had caused upset to members of the congregation.
“We have always voiced our support for what the Old Kirk Trust is trying to do and we would love to see the building stay in the hands of the public,” she explained.
“However, until very recently we had received no correspondence from the Trust about its intentions and we cannot afford to keep the building at the level of insurance which would be needed with all the furniture in it and keep it heated throughout the winter months. It is just not possible.
“Some items of historical interest have been offered to museums and the items which appeared on the website were things which cannot be used by our congregation to whom they belong.
‘‘It would not be wise to leave them sitting in the church over the winter.”
Meanwhile the Old Kirk Trust has called on St Bryce Kirk to reconsider disposing of the items of furniture which remain and has offered to cover any cost of putting them into storage.
“We would like to see the communion table and bookcase which was made in memory of a former church elder remain as part of the building,” said Trust chairman, Rosemary Potter.