Norman Hutcheson
1973 - 1988

David Laing
1989 - 1998

Donald Thomson
2000 - 2007

St. Andrew's Centenary Banner

History of St. Andrew's Parish Church

The story of St. Andrew's Parish Church building starts in 1903 when it was built and opened as Victoria Road Church. However, the story of the people involved starts in 1885 when the United Presbyterian Church decided to open a Church in the Victoria Road district to accommodate the growing population in that area.

A "Tin Shack" was acquired from the Voluntary Church. This was adjacent to the present day Victoria Hotel. In November 1885 work was begun by "23 parties" which it seems included members transferring from Bethelfield United Presbyterian Church.

Within a year a congregation of 90 had been established. In 1888 they built and moved into a new stone building, shown below, which is still standing adjacent to the Victoria Hotel. By May 1901 the congregation had expanded to around 400 and was outgrowing the current building.

Original Victoria Road Church Building
Original Victoria Road Church Building

A New Church Building

In 1901, the expanding congregation decided they had outgrown the existing building in Victoria Road and started to plan a new Church building. The cost was to be £7,000, a vast sum for those days, a sum so high that the congregation were left with a debt of £2,000 after the building was complete.

The style was decided on after much discussion with architects and builders and comparison with other new Churches in the area. It seems that the congregation were particularly taken with red sandstone buildings in Perth and East Wemyss. Although not unique in Kirkcaldy, use of such materials is distinctive compared to the surrounding area.

St. Andrew's Parish Church Building
St. Andrew's Parish Church Building

On the 25th November 1903, the building was officially opened for worship by the Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rev. George Robson. The congregation at that time was a United Free congregation, although prior to 1900 it had been United Presbyterian.

At the time the building opened it was common practice for members to rent their pew space. The rent varied according to position but was typically about 5 shillings per year.

One of the speakers at the social event following the opening ceremony warned that renting a pew was "insufficient", the members had to occupy their pews as well, if the Church was to prosper! If they wanted to attract people into the Church today they had to start by taking their own places.

The old stone building was eventually bought by the McIntosh furniture company who sold it on a few years later to a Major Stocks. He then modified it and made it available for use by the Boys' Brigade.

Victoria Halls, opened by Major Stocks
Victoria Halls, opened by Major Stocks

A report from The Fife Free Press (March 26th, 1910) describes a visit by Sir Robert Baden-Powell:

"On Monday forenoon Major-General Sir Robert Baden-powell paid a short visit to Kirkcaldy. The visit was of a semi-private nature, the object being to inspect the quarters of the Boys' Brigade and Boy Scouts, which are believed to be the best premises of the kind in the country. The General was met at the station by Captain H.L. Stocks, who is in command of the Boys' Brigade, and is also a Scoutmaster. On arriving at Victoria Hall the General was received by a guard of honour, supplied by the Boy Scouts. Before leaving, the General addressed the Boy Scouts, and expressed his pleasure at meeting with some of the Kirkcaldy boys, although he was only to be in town for a short time."

Inside the Church Building

The new Church was originally designed to hold 480 sitting, plus 40 in the choir range. That seems to be based on 6 sitting in each pew section, whereas a maximum of 5 adults is probably more realistic these days. There was no organ at that time and the choir range was boxed in and filled the modern stage area. Two side galleries and back gallery were seated for 250. By 2010, the Church comfortably seated 260 adults downstairs and 192 upstairs - a total of 452 plus the choir.

A quote from the Fife Free Press (21st November 1903) describes the internal fittings:

"The painting of the building is done in nice taste. The arches are done in white and warm tints, the columns finished in green, and the capitals are in white and gold. The recess behind the pulpit is painted a beautifully tinted green, while under the galleries the walls are done in a fine warm colour."

The upholstering work was in blue velvet, the ceiling was panelled pitch pine and the pews were in quartered polished oak.

Before the organ was installed in 1925, the Church would be lit up at midday by the sunlight streaming through a circular stained-glass window behind the pulpit. This fine window was constructed of cathedral glass depicting a dove holding an olive branch with the words "Peace and good will". The motif was copied on to the circular wood carving adorning the front of the organ pipes, which actually block the window itself.

Individual legacies were responsible for the provision of red carpets throughout the Church and red seat covers. The pew bibles, pulpit and lecturn bibles were also bought from members' legacies. The communion silver was donated in 1913.


The red sandstone forming much of the front and sides of the building came from Closeburn quarry in Dumfries. It is of New Red Sandstone age.

St. Andrew's Parish Church Building
St. Andrew's Parish Church Building


At the time of construction, Mr William McIntosh was the Church treasurer. He was also a director in the McIntosh furniture factory and was a major benefactor to the Church, especially the oak panelling throughout the Church which is thought to be American or Canadian in origin.

A set of fine seats, originally on the chancel and in the style of Charles Rennie McIntosh, were donated in the 1970s. These can now be seen in Bennochy Parish Church.


Originally there was no accompaniment by musical instrument in Church. In 1891 one David Richie was appointed as precentor to lead the praise. He went on to become "Leader of the Praise" until 1925. His daughter Bessie learned to play the harmonium and went on to become the first organist in the Church.

The organ was installed in 1925 by Hill and Beard of Glasgow, with the console in the centre of the choir range. For a long time it was considered the best organ in Kirkcaldy.

It was in 1976 that the front of the chancel was redesigned by L A Rolland and Partners. The organ was electrified and the console, which was now mobile, was moved to the side. At the same time the formal, boxed-in choir range was removed to give an open chancel. A futher upgrade was completed in 2006.

The interior of St. Andrew's Parish Church Building showing the Organ
The interior of St. Andrew's Parish Church Building showing the Organ

The organ was one of the few working pipe organs in Kirkcaldy to survive into the 21st century. The 47 pipes were arranged symmetrically on either side of the pulpit with most of the working pipes hidden behind the gallery. The pipes on show were just for visual effect, with only two actually working.

The Church of Scotland Years

Victoria Road Church became part of the Church of Scotland in 1929, although it is understood that the United Free constitution remained in operation until the 1960s.

A union was formed with Dunnikier Church in 1972 and the new congregation became St. Andrew's Parish Church. Dunnikier had formed a union with Abbotsrood Church only 5 years previously, so there were really members from three former congregations involved in the new union.

In March 2010, the St. Andrew's congregation formed a union with St. John's Parish Church to become the new Bennochy Parish Church which worships today on Meldrum Road.

After 107 years of worship, the St. Andrew's Church building formally closed on the 28th September 2010 with a Service of Thanksgiving taken by Rev Gilbert Nisbet.

The building was sold in February 2013 to the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

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