Closure-threatened historic Fife church invites Fifers to join its guided tours

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A historic Fife church under the threat of closure is set to throw its doors open and invite people to step inside and see its stained glass windows.

Auchtertool Kirk is one of many places of worship facing an uncertain future as the Church of Scotland reviews its estate.

The church has been placed on its list of buildings to be sold, let or disposed of within the next five years as it downsizes. St Fillans in Aberdour is another historic church on the list.

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Auchtertool’s congregation has objected strongly to the proposal, and it is issuing an invite to Fifers to come and visit “our wonderfully atmospheric Kirk and our beautiful windows” next month. The church is offering guided tours and a cuppa between 2:00pm and 3:30 on the first three Sundays in December.

Auchtertool Kirk and one of its stained glass windowsAuchtertool Kirk and one of its stained glass windows
Auchtertool Kirk and one of its stained glass windows

The kirk is an ancient place with nearly 1000 years of history attached to it.

It has been altered not less than five times, and there are signs of a Norman Church built either by Queen Margaret or her son David who gave the kirk and lands of Auchtertool to the Bishop of Dunkeld in 1127 - the first known mention of the kirk.

The interior includes windows which were funded by public subscription - each with a story behind it.

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The War Memorial window was installed on Remembrance Sunday 1921 in the presence of Mr D. Rolland, a grieve at Linnhead Farm who lost two sons in the Great War.

There are at least three families still present in the Auchtertool area who are direct descendants of those who subscribed to the window, with more in New Zealand, Australia and the USA. People from around the world visit the Kirk regularly.

Another window commemorates two young men aged 15 and 17 who were accidentally killed on the railway in the Parish.

The church’s windows - all funded by the public - also honour those who died on foreign battlefields. They remain as the only memorial for those who made the greatest sacrifice. Auchtertool Kirk sits on the B925 half a mile to the west of the village.

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