More than 60 years of worship is being packed away in boxes, signalling the start of a new era for church goers in Glenrothes.
Members of the congregation at St Luke’s the Evangelist, Scottish Episcopal Church in Auchmuty are removing the last remnants from their church building in Ninian Quadrant. It has been their place of worship and prayer since 1960.
As the church heads for its temporary new home in nearby St Columba’s Church, builders will move in, triggering the start of an ambitious £425,000 refurbishment and redevelopment of the existing St Lukes building.
When completed, it will transform St Luke’s into a multi-functional public hub and cafe for use by all aspects of the local community, as well as renewing it as a place of worship.
Vestry secretary Fiona Munn, said: “It seems like the plans have been around forever but now that we are finally packing up, suddenly the redevelopment and transformation of St Luke’s all seems very real.
“The building is largely as it was when it was built in 1960 at the time when Glenrothes was blossoming as a new town so there are a lot of happy memories for a lot of residents, old and new, attached to the church.
“But the move also marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the church and the community.”
As well as recently receiving £50,000 from Fife Environmental Trust, the church secured £375,000 of Lottery funding in 2019, primarily to run its Peace ‘n’ Jam café for the next three years.
The scheme will benefit around 500 people, as well as creating 20 volunteering opportunities.
Rev Gerry Dillon said it would allow people, many of whom would otherwise be socially isolated, to come together to build relationships and benefit from low cost nutritious meals.
He added: “There has been a great deal of work already done to get Peace ‘n’ Jam off the ground, which will allow us to benefit the local community in so many ways.
“We have around 60 groups that use our building and we want it to become a focal point for everyone.”
The cafe will run throughout the school holidays, allowing breakfast clubs to continue and providing meals to families who would have been in receipt of free school meals during term time.
With the the last community groups set to vacate the church this week, St Luke’s will host a joint farewell service at the Ninian’s Quadrant building alongside St Finnian’s of Lochgelly at 11am on February 23, before work to transform the existing church starts in earnest in March.