Kirkcaldy Guardians: Rosemary Potter’s faith and community at heart of Old Kirk
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Rosemary Potter, chair of the Old Kirk Trust, came to Kirkcaldy in 1972 after university with her husband, David. The couple visited the Old Kirk on their first Sunday in town and joined the congregation for the next 25 years. In 2011, the church was put up for sale and bought by the Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust to use as a community resource, heritage centre and place for continuing worship.
Rosemary remembers being known as the “girl with the baby” witnessing cultural shifts with the soup kitchens during the miners' strike - “humanity comes first, people had to have something’.
The importance of relationships with others plays a key role not only in her social work career but her involvement with local organisations including the Kirkcaldy Civic Society and Hayfield Community Centre among others to helps others in need.
Rosemary passionately supports community engagement at the trust, offering a space to celebrate Kirkcaldy's heritage. From historical exhibitions and guided tours to educational workshops to the recent Adam Smith Festival of Ideas lecture series. Indeed, I had heard about Rosemary’s contributions as someone actively involved in Kirkcaldy’s story, long before our chat.
These days, visitors to the Old Kirk visitors come for many reasons, to view the majestic stained-glass windows, peruse the archives, visit the historic graves, or climb up the 15th century ancient tower, restored over a five-year fundraising campaign reaching nearly £500,000. Rosemary smiles when she speaks of visitors and is clearly glad the open door, she has spent a lifetime advocating has manifested in many curious visitors.
Speaking of the Kirkcaldy community, Rosemary smiles fondly as she speaks of informality of connections between locals offering a helping hand at Hayfield Cafe during the Covid-19 pandemic while changing the way events in the town are attended with local folk turning up to events on spec rather than booking in advance and the slow, gradual return to in-person events. After so many years of service to the town, how can we return the favour?
Rosemary speaks of the importance of people and the roles available at the old Kirk Trust including a volunteer co-ordinator, part-time technician for events, and volunteers’ roles with the historical, archival records. The notion of legacy is important here, having seen volunteers develop their skills, confidence and take it into the local workplace reflects Rosemary’s touchstones of faith and community cementing the Old Kirk’s continued service to the people to Kirkcaldy.
Kirkcaldy's rich heritage continues to thrive, leaving a legacy for generations to come because of the quiet dedication, faith and community of Rosemary Potter, custodian, steward, keeper of history and a smile at an open door. How lucky we are to have her.
You can find out more here: https://www.kirkcaldyoldkirktrust.org.uk/
> Do you know a Kirkcaldy Guardian? Someone who helps in the Kirkcaldy community who would like to be featured in the Fife Free Press? Please send an e-mail to Lisa May Young at [email protected]