Kirkcaldy Old Kirk service marks 775 years of worship

Over 100 people gathered in Kirkcaldy Old Kirk on Sunday afternoon to celebrate in a service of thanksgiving marking 775 years of Christian presence and worship in the heart of the town.

Representatives of many of the local churches were at the service by invitation, including Bishop Ian Paton from the Scottish Episcopal Church and Rev. Kevin Flett from the Congregational Church, as well as regular worshippers and Friends of the Old Kirk, and those from the wider community.

The service was held to mark 775 years since the Roman Catholic Bishop de Bernham consecrated the church in 1244 to St Patrick and St Brisse (St Bryce).

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Rev. John Ferguson, minister of the Old Kirk when it was a Church of Scotland congregation, and now minister at Peterculter, led the anniversary service.

Recalling his time in Kirkcaldy, Rev Ferguson drew a laugh when he reminded his audience of the dramatic event when the clanger from the ancient bell fell down in the tower just before morning service and he appeared in some national newspapers under lurid headlines.

Sunday’s service included musc from young singers Mollie Quigley and Jennifer Paton, a poem from Margaret Horne and a short drama from the Auld Kirk Players written by Isabel Coventry about the tragic fall of the gallery in 1828.

Julie Ford, Fife’s Depute Provost, brought a message of co-operation and mutual service to the people of Kirkcaldy with personal memories of the mysterious green light on the top of the tower.

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During the service there was also an Act of Re-dedication of the second Burne-Jones and William Morris window, which has recently been restored.

Mark Bambrough, the conservator, prefaced this with an explanation of the significance of these artists and the intricate process involved in restoring them.

The magnificent Gern organ, fresh from a 775th anniversary organ recital the day before, gave a vibrant sound to the proceedings under the guidance of Organ Scholar Rob Fleming.

The afternoon concluded with refreshments and a celebratory cake resplendent with the Old Kirk pictured on it.