Fire damage closes 900-year-old Aberdour church at Christmas

St Fillan's Church, Aberdour -
St Fillan's Church, Aberdour -

St Fillan’s likely to remain out of use for two months

An Aberdour church is to stay closed over Christmas and New Year after a fire broke out in the building at the weekend.

It’s understood parishioners were turned away from St Fillan’s on Sunday morning after the fire was reported at 9.00 a.m.

Two crews were sent to the scene and firefighters took just under an hour to get the incident under control.

It is thought the interior of the building may have suffered some smoke damage and the flooring was also affected.

Arthur Lloyd, Aberdour Community Council chairman, told The Press: “The fire was spotted at 9.00 a.m. but it may have started earlier.

“There was an electrical storm during the night which may have caused a power surge. Some of the surrounding buildings, including the castle, lost power for some time.

“The fire appears to have started in the electrical boxes which are situated under the floor in the organ/choir loft.

“All the boxes and cabling have been destroyed and the flooring has been burnt. The rest of the church and the building itself would appear to be unscathed, but it has been affected by smoke/soot and possibly water damage.

“It is not yet clear whether the organ is irrevocably damaged. The church is covered by insurance and the loss adjustor is expected to visit the site soon.”

Mr Lloyd said services will now be held in the church hall on the village High Street until the building is open again, which is likely to take two months.

He said the church is very popular and the number of people attending its services has steadily grown over the last few years.

Mr Lloyd added: “I don’t think anything like this has happened before, but Aberdour is a resilient community and no doubt everyone will pull together and lend whatever support they can.

“The minister Rev. Peter Gerbrandy-Baird was understandably shocked by this event but as he says, life must go on and no-one was injured which is a blessing.

“The fire service attended promptly and did a first class and professional job, so well done to them.”

St Fillan’s dates back to the early 12th Century. The church is situated in a graveyard just outside the walled gardens of Aberdour Castle.

It was granted to Inchcolm Abbey at its foundation in 1123.

It fell into ruin over the years, but was restored in 1925-26.

Originally a narrow rectangle, the church has been altered several times over its lifetime.