Glenrothes has a population of around 40,000, and lies in the area bounded by the villages of Leslie, Markinch and Thornton. It is very attractively landscaped; and it has won both the Beautiful Scotland award for the most clean, sustainable and beautiful community in Scotland, and the Carbuncle Award for the most dismal town in Scotland. Its central location provides easy access to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Perth, Stirling and St Andrews, as well as coastal and inland scenery. It is immediately adjacent to the Lomond Hills and close to the historic village of Falkland, winner of several Beautiful Scotland awards.
The town is designed as a ring of precincts around the main shopping centre, the Kingdom Centre, which boasts a large number and variety of shops. The Kingdom Centre has received the Business in the Community award for the positive impact its activities have in the marketplace, workplace, environment and community. The Rothes Halls complex in the Centre provides a central conference, exhibition and entertainment venue, and includes a large auditorium which houses regular musical and theatrical events. A number of housing developments in Glenrothes have won Saltire Awards. The main sources of employment are light industry and the service sector. Fife Council’s headquarters are located in the town. The area is well provided with primary and secondary schools, and facilities for further education. There is a state-of-the-art sport and leisure centre including three swimming pools and, as might be expected in the county, a large number of golf courses lie within easy reach. Glenrothes boasts an airfield with facilities for private flying, and the Scottish Gliding Centre at Portmoak is only 5 miles away. There are nature reserves at Vane Farm on Loch Leven and in Lochore Meadows Country Park.
Glenrothes falls within the Church of Scotland’s Fife Presbytery. Christ’s Kirk is one of six Church of Scotland churches within Glenrothes, Leslie and Markinch. Most of the other major Christian denominations are represented in the area, and the very active Glenrothes and District Churches Together provides opportunities for representatives of the various congregations to meet and co-operate.
The parish of Christ’s Kirk lies in the north of Glenrothes. Most building in the area has taken place within the last thirty years; it is almost entirely residential and includes two primary schools, a small local hospital, and Glenrothes Fire Station. The church itself is strategically situated close to the neighbourhood shopping centre and community facilities. Development is still continuing, but at a slower rate than hitherto.
The analysis of the 2011 census data published by the Church of Scotland as Statistics for Mission showed the parish with a population of 11,372, comprised of some 4,900 households. 64.0% of homes are owned by the occupants, 28.3% are social rented, 7.1% are privately rented, and 0.6% are rent-free. 3,318 persons gave Church of Scotland as their religious affiliation, and 1,547 gave other Christian denominations. There is a balanced age distribution similar to the national profile.
The church began life as an extension to Christ’s Kirk on the Green in Leslie. In 1978 services started in the local school, but a church building was opened on the present site in 1980. With the closure of the Kirk on the Green, the present Christ’s Kirk became the parish church representing the whole of north Glenrothes.
There are also three Ministry Development Staff posts, working across the parish boundaries. (One MDS at St Margaret’s, one works across the parish grouping of St Ninian’s, St Columba’s and Leslie: Trinity, and one is a town-wide children’s and family worker.) There is also a schools worker employed by GROW (Glenrothes Regional Outreach Worker: a trust supported by various local churches) who works closely with the rest of the team. Many areas of work in schools, care homes and outreach ventures are undertaken co-operatively, and the whole Glenrothes team meets about once every six weeks to plan and share roles.
The Church Buildings
The church was erected in 1980 and is extremely well maintained. A major building programme took place in 2002, involving construction of a hall, a new catering-standard kitchen, and additional toilet facilities.
The church is a balanced blend of old and new with attractive fittings and furnishings. An induction loop system is fitted. The interior of the church is enhanced by hangings made over the years by the Banner Making Group, and a pair of memorial windows which were originally installed in the Kirk on the Green. The church accommodates a congregation of over 200.
Smaller rooms in the complex are used as meeting rooms and the church office. The church’s accommodation is available to groups and organisations in the community.
The attractive grounds surrounding the church include parking spaces and beds with flowers and shrubs which are maintained by a gardener. The church also employs the services of professional cleaners.
The Manse is an attractive modern (1989) detached house. It is set in well maintained gardens in a quiet suburb of the town a few minutes’ drive from the church. The accommodation consists of lounge, dining room, kitchen, utility room and toilet downstairs and three bedrooms, study and bathroom upstairs. There is an integral garage.
Christ’s Kirk have adopted the Unitary Constitution with 15 serving elders. The church has an organist and a Church Officer.
Morning services are held each Sunday; attendance averages 50-60. In our worship we currently use the New International Version of the Bible and CH4, but hymns from other sources are included when appropriate. The format of our services has been fairly traditional, with the Sunday Bulletin used as a means of communication within the congregation. Refreshments are provided after Sunday services.
Special services during the year include those held during Holy Week, a Service on Christmas Eve, the Guild Dedication Service, Harvest Thanksgiving, and the Remembrance Service. The church is fortunate in having within its congregation members who are able and willing to conduct services when the need arises.
Over the years, the very active Guild has contributed substantially to the life of the church. Meetings are held fortnightly between October and April, and membership currently stands at around 40, including both sexes.
A Pastoral Care Group seeks to maintain contact with members and adherents who are unable for one reason or another to attend worship, and distributes church flowers.
The Communication Team are responsible for producing a quarterly magazine as well as maintaining the Facebook page, the Christ’s Kirk website and also printing the Order of Service for Sunday worship. They also print tickets and posters for any fundraising events.
As well as being distributed to the congregation, the church magazine and service leaflets are available to all who use or visit the church. The congregation actively seeks to expand links with the local community.
Church premises are available for hire for conferences and meetings, and are currently used by a wide variety of organisations and groups, including:
• Slimming World
• North Glenrothes Community Council
• local ARK Housing team
• Karate classes
• Yoga classes and Fitness Classes
• Kids’ birthday parties
We work hard to manage our finances effectively. The majority of members contribute through the Freewill Offering scheme and over a quarter of these additionally through Gift Aid. The Treasurer is supported by a Finance Committee which meets regularly.
The Kirk Session has adopted our Mission statement as a basis for the development of the church. In accordance with this, we hope to continue the spiritual development of the congregation by providing worship services attractive and relevant to the whole range of ages.
The population of the neighbourhood is still growing, and we seek to attract a higher proportion into the church. We hope that links with the local primary schools, sheltered housing complexes and care homes can be maintained. We have demonstrated our ability to work together as a congregation, and we look forward to continuing to do so under the spiritual leadership of our new minister.