New church is a new challenge

Rev Alex Ritchie, new Minister at Erskine Church, Burntisland
Rev Alex Ritchie, new Minister at Erskine Church, Burntisland

THE new minister at a Burntisland church is looking forward to getting to know his congregation and settling into the community.

The Rev Alexander Ritchie has taken up residence at Erskine Manse and was officially inducted at Erskine Church on Saturday.

Rev Ritchie (45) moved into the town with his family last Tuesday after re-locating from Lossiemouth after 10-and-a-half years. He takes over from Rev Jim Neil who retired last year.

He said: “I am really pleased to be here in Burntisland, it seems like a really nice community and we are gradually settling in. I am looking forward to preaching here and getting to know the local area and the people. I don’t really know Fife that well apart from St Andrews so it’s all new.

“It is challenging but it is also an opportunity to be part of the local community.”

Rev Ritchie was born in Aberdeen in January 1967 and was brought up there. He also attended Aberdeen University where he studied degrees in law and theology.

He attended the United Free Church in Aberdeen where me met his wife Fiona, who is a GP. They were married in 1997.

He studied his degree in theology after they were married and attended two churches as a student - Northfield in Aberdeen and the United Free Church in Montrose. In May 2002 he became the minister at the United Free Church at Lossiemouth where he preached for 10-and-a-half years.

He continued: “I enjoyed my time in Lossiemouth. It is a nice community and they have good relations with the other churches. The call came to consider a move in January this year. I thought about it and reflected on it.

“I came to Burntisland in June to visit for the first time and liked it. I came back at the end of July and after that I was officially asked to come and be the new minister at Erskine Church.”

Rev Ritchie said he enjoyed his official induction at Erskine Church where he met representatives from other local churches in the area and was treated to a buffet meal and entertainment of Doric and pipe music.

Rev Ritchie, who has three children - Stephen (10), Emma (8) and Sienna (2) - added that he was looking forward to preaching for the first time this Sunday.