Long-established Kirkcaldy church building to be sold after final service

The doors have closed on another piece of Kirkcaldy’s heritage.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 12:22 pm

The final service has been held at Kirkcaldy Methodist Church, and the building on St Clair Street is to be put up for sale.

Faced with significant repair works, the small congregation decided to call time, and join Rosyth Methodist Church for worship and fellowship.

After a year of being unable to gather together due to the pandemic, the congregation was able to host one final service before the distinctive red doors closed for good.

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Kirkcaldy Methodist Church on St Clair Street

Under COVID regulations there was no singing and no hugs, but the gathering included a baptism.

Danny Cepok, a member of the church council, said: “It was a lovely ceremony.

“It would be great if the building went to another faith group or a community group which could do something with it.”

The church may be dwarfed, in terms of scale, by its neighbour, Rejects’ department store, but it has been there much longer.

Kirkcaldy Methodist Church (Pic: Fife Free Press)

It can trace its history back to 1883 when a group which included local men, Henry Stocks and Andrew Warrender, was looking to open a church to support the families of local linoleum workers.

Absenteeism was a problem – one often caused by drink.

Supported by the Methodist Church in Edinburgh, a pastor was sent to help set up a church in town. Initially it met in Speedie’s Hall Pend, off Anderson Street, as well as on the beach and the streets to support people.

The building in St Clair Street was bought four years later, and cost £600 to construct - it was a place for up to 250 people to worship.

Money for a church hall was then raised by every member giving one guinea to provide space for the Sunday School and other activities.

Electric lighting was installed in the 1920s thanks to a gift from Captain Moodie, church member and harbour master at Kirkcaldy, and the golden jubilee in 1938 was marked with the installation of a new pulpit and baptismal font at no cost thanks to Miss Mary Gordon.

A decade on and the church’s women’s Bright Hour had 50 people attending weekly meetings - many were not members. They ran until 2010.

The church was active across the decades with a growing Sunday School, flower festivals, and strong links with the Zimbabwean community.

It also opened its facilities to a wide range of community groups - from business networking to Fife Gingerbread and even sequence dancing. One alcohol support group reckoned it helped over 1000 people during its time there.

A refurbishment programme in 2013 saw members share services at Pathhead Parish Church with Easter Sunday early service in Ravenscraig Park, before returning home in January 2014.

More recently the congregation has ben faced with tackling major structural problem to the building, and, with numbers declining ,members growing older and few young people joining, it decided - “after much thought and prayers” - to sell, and link with Rosyth. “

Kirkcaldy Methodist Church’s rich history and contribution to the town will be celebrated in a special service once the congregation is allowed to gather again in number, and look ahead.

“A new door opens” is how it is viewed for a church which has been a bedrock in the town for over 130 years.

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