Union of Kirkcaldy Parish Church and St. Brycedale Church
When Rev. John Ferguson left Kirkcaldy Old Parish Church at the end of August 1999, the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy sought to effect a union between Kirkcaldy Old Kirk and St. Brycedale church across Kirk Wynd. This was in fact a proposed RE-union of the 2 congregations.
A Basis of Union agreed by a joint negotiating committee with representatives from both congregations was presented to both congregations on Sunday 25th June 2000 and accepted by a majority of the Old Kirk members and members of St. Brycedale.
This basis of union was subsequently agreed by the Kirkcaldy Presbytery and the Church of Scotland’s central Parish Reappraisal Committee. The Presbytery of Kirkcaldy at its next meeting set the date for the service of union, which took place on 5th November 2000 in the Old Kirk. Further details are available in Response, the Old Kirk church magazine of September/October 2000 online.
On 26th September 2001 the independent Panel of Arbiters appointed by the Board of National Mission, as agreed in the Basis of Union, decided that the principal place of worship of St. Bryce Kirk congregation is the Old Kirk building. This decision was not implemented then.
On 24th September 2002 Kirkcaldy Presbytery heard a Dissent & Complaint brought by Mrs. Rosemary Potter against a decision of St. Bryce Kirk Session dated 17th June 2002 to seek Presbytery’s permission to close one church building. The Dissent & Complaint was rejected and Mrs. Potter appealed this decision to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The Assembly Commission, meeting in Edinburgh on 10th February 2003, upheld Mrs. Potter’s Appeal. They decided by 61 votes to 4 that the Kirk Session’s decision was incompetent and that the Presbytery deliverances were revoked and instructed Kirkcaldy Presbytery and St. Bryce Kirk Session to expedite the implementation of the Arbitration Decision.
On 7th October 2004, on instruction from Kirkcaldy Presbytery, St. Bryce Kirk Session finally agreed a pattern of services that fulfilled the Arbitration decision of the Old Kirk building as the principal place of worship: Sunday morning worship on the first three Sundays in the month in the Old Kirk building, and on the remaining Sunday(s) in the St. Brycedale building.
To accommodate a disabled toilet, drastic changes to the interior of the Old Kirk sanctuary have been undertaken and remain to be completed in September 2005. The pews, floor, gallery and all fittings have been removed, and the orientation of the church is to turn 180 degrees, to provide a new look, with flexible seating. The tower and stained glass windows remain unchanged.