A new minister is swapping Brussels for Glenrothes.
The Rev Andrew Gardner, who has spent the last 14 years leading a multi-national Church of Scotland congregation in Belgium, has been appointed to a Fife church.
Dr Gardner said he was very pleased to have become the interim minister of Christ Kirk in Glenrothes and was looking forward to the fresh challenge of helping the congregation go from strength to strength.
The post represents something of a “homecoming” for the 52-year-old who was brought up in Callander and served as a probationer minister at the High Kirk in Dundee.
“I am very pleased to be working alongside the congregation of Christ Kirk and look forward to building bridges with its people and with the local community,” he said.
Interim ministers, appointed by the Church of Scotland’s Ministries Council, are sent to congregations which need help to move forward, he added.
Dr Gardner moved from St Andrew’s Church in Brussels, which has people from 35 different countries in its congregation.
He said there were a number of reasons behind his move.
His wife Julia started a new job with Angus Council in November and both his children, Bethany, 21, and Karalyn, 20, are students in Bath and Exeter respectively.
In addition he felt that his flock in Belgium might benefit from a change in minister.
The St Andrews University graduate said: “Lots of aspects to my ministry in Brussels were very satisfying.
“I enjoyed working in a well-attended inter-generational congregation that regularly had 35 nationalities present and as part of a transient community, was always changing.”
He felt his time in Brussels helped him develop his skills, learning to relate to people of different nationalities and wide variety of backgrounds and serving the international presbytery.
“But after 14 years ministering in Brussels, I sensed that I might benefit facing a fresh challenge in my ministry.
“So I reflected on the possible options, one of which was interim ministry.”
Dr Gardner said his love and passion for the Kirk was as strong as ever.
“Faith in Christ brings a strength and a hope to life that the world does not offer,” he added.