Let us no bide awa' frae the Kirk

Bennochy Parish Church Archive News 2020

Sunday Worship Suspended
21st December 2020
Bennochy Church

On Saturday evening, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, announced stricter Coronavirus restrictions, over the Christmas period, and from Boxing day, 26th December 2020.

With the whole of mainland Scotland moving into tier 4 restrictions, it means that our capacity on a Sunday morning is reduced from 46 to just 20. As this number includes the minister, organist, and welcome team, this leaves us with a very small capacity.

There is an option to try and organize a booking system, but that has its own problems, and with the Scottish Government saying we need to reduce face to face contact, we have no real option but to suspend ‘in person’ Sunday worship. I will again record Sunday reflections, to go onto the Bennochy website.

Over the next few week our services were already planned to be joint online services, with the other Kirkcaldy town centre churches, and will appear on the Bennochy website. These are:

  • 24th December
  • 25th December
  • 27th December
  • 3rd January 2021

Further Details on the Advent Services (and where to watch them)

Because of the tighter restrictions running through to 18th January 2021. Services will be suspended until at least the first Sunday in February. The Kirk Session will review the situation in the middle of January and decide accordingly.

I realise how disappointing this news is, especially those who have been attending these past few months. However, it is important that we play our part in minimizing contact with others, and so help to reduce the spread of the virus. As soon as it is safe to do so, ‘in person’ worship will recommence.

Please keep looking at the Bennochy web site for updates.

Further information can be found in Robin's Christmas Letter.

Dunfermline Angel Walk
4th December 2020
Dunfermline Angel Walk

An “Angel Walk” is being launched in Dunfermline town centre to bring the Christmas story to life in a new and “uplifting” way.

The colourful angel figures will be displayed in shop windows from December 6 and can be found by consulting a special digital map.

Each angel has a QR code that can be scanned with smart phones so people can learn all about the birth of Baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. The story will be told through pictures and videos narrated by members of local Church congregations.

Around 3,000 knitted angels are also being gifted throughout the community, including some primary schools as part of the project to bring festive cheer to the town during what has been a challenging year.

Children and adults (some in care homes) will be presented with them from December 7 and each one bears a red heart tag with variants of a message that reads – “Angels everywhere bringing…love, or joy, or peace or hope.

Banners bearing the same messages will be put on display outside local churches.

Project co-ordinator, Rev Monika Redman, minister of St Leonard’s Church, said: “Keen knitters at local churches have taken advantage of the time afforded by COVID-19 restrictions so if you go down to the shops today, you’re in for a big surprise.

“The original plan had been to ‘angel bomb’ the town centre, whereby members of the public could take an angel home, but due to the virus they are now being redirected to various local schools and homes in a safe and secure manner.

“The ‘Angel Walk’ allows families to participate in the Christmas story in a fun way by following a digital map of the 14 locations where angels can be found, culminating in a nativity scene in a Kingsgate shop window.

“It’s been a pleasure and an uplifting experience to work with other local churches in this way and see the angels growing in numbers.”

Further information on how to take part in the angel walk, including access to the digital angel map trail can be found at:

Dunfermline Angel Walk

Christian Values in Education
3rd December 2020
Christian Values in Education – Scotland

Christian Values in Education – Scotland

Prayer Requests - Give thanks

  • for the opportunity for Christians to be a light in schools
  • that in some schools’ extra-curricular activities have started up and some schools have been open to the involvement of volunteers
  • that in some schools SU groups have continued and in some new groups have begun
  • that some SU groups which have gone online have been hugely popular
  • for the creativity and ability of many organisations to produce support materials for schools and families at this time
  • for the opportunities in school to share the Christmas story and for pupils to explore its relevance to them

School staff and pupils

Larger attainment gaps than usual are still evident due to time spent learning from home and teachers are seeing more secondary pupils in particular disengaged from learning.

Pray that there will be a way for schools to safely accept outside help that is offered and that access will open up in schools, even where previously a school has not been supportive of involvement from Christian organisations.

Pray for good rest for staff and pupils over the holidays.

Pray that schools, in amongst all the extra stresses and uncertainties with planning that Covid-19 is bringing, will not side-line teaching about Christmas and instead messages of hope, peace and love will be heard throughout Scottish schools.

Mental health

Mental health issues are a very real concern. Isolation for school staff is tough; most are not allowed to meet with others in staff rooms. Senior Management and teachers are learning and adapting to do school in a way they have never been taught. They are not able to receive face-to-face training and are planning and re-planning for the unknown. Many are deeply concerned for their own health and carry a burden of responsibility for those in their classrooms.

Many teachers know pupils who have attempted suicide. We know too from the media there is a rise in the number of pupils and adults ending their own life.

Hourglass Webinars
3rd December 2020

Hourglass (previously Action on Elder Abuse) supports older people and calling time on the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people.

The following free webinars are available:

Financial fraud and Scams -
Tuesday 8th December 11-12pm

We are delighted to be joined by David Russell Douglas, who is a Community Banker with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). David will give a short presentation about how to try and keep yourself safe and secure from financial scams and reduce the risk of being a victim of fraud.

“The role of a carer and keeping older people safe” -
Thursday 10th December 2- 3 pm

Caring for carers: Keeping you and the person you care for safe

We are delighted to be joined by Tracy Cooper, Partnership Training Officer at VOCAL, Edinburgh Carers Hub. Tracy delivers a range of training on topics to support and empower carers to take care of themselves and the person they care for. Tracy will give a short presentation about carer self-care, your rights as a carer and how these can keep both you, and the person you care for safe.

To register for either webinar please follow the Eventbrite link.

Services for Advent, Christmas and New Year
30th November 2020
Services for Advent, Christmas, and New Year

The following services will be available during December and early January (all at 11am):


  • 6th December 2020: 2nd Sunday in Advent. Bring paper + pen/pencil for a biblical Advent quiz. Prize for the winner.

  • 13th December 2020: 3rd Sunday in Advent. Bring your own “percussion instrument” or just something to make a noise!

  • 20th December 2020: 4th Sunday in Advent. Wear a Christmas Jumper, tie, scarf, or MASK. Prize for the winner. There will also be a short contribution from the Sunday School.


  • 24th December 2020: Joint Kirkcaldy Churches ONLINE Christmas Eve service. Starts at 6pm. Hosted by Abbotshall Kirk.

  • 25th December 2020: Joint Kirkcaldy Churches ONLINE Christmas Day service. Starts at 10am. Hosted by St Bryce Kirk.

  • 27th December 2020: Online worship Service led by Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Available from Sunday morning.

New Year

  • 3rd January 2021: Joint Kirkcaldy Churches ONLINE service. Available on Sunday morning and is led by Kevin Flett, Minister of Kirkcaldy Congregational Church.

All the online services will be available on our Sunday Reflections page from the times shown.

Christian Aid Christmas Appeal
24th November 2020
Christian Aid Christmas Appeal

This Advent we would like to encourage you to Support Christian Aid’s Christmas Appeal. Details can be found on their web site via Christmas Appeal.

It is entitled, together we can build hope. Advent is all about hope. In looking forward, we follow signs that direct us to the birth of God’s Messiah. If we do not literally follow a star, we do seek hope for creation. In a way, hope has its own signs, and they are God’s shalom; his peace and his justice for all.

Behind the Christmas scenes of nativity, there are people all over the world, who struggle, not just to live, but to survive. Please have a look at the website and watch the video. The face of world poverty, seen the story, and words, of a young man, Imote from Nigeria.

We all know that life has been far from normal, and sacrifices have been made, but add poverty and injustice to the mix, and life becomes really hard. In your giving, please be generous.

Christmas Card Competition
19th November 2020
Christmas Card Competition

KART are running a Christmas Card Competition this year and would like to encourage children from Bennochy to enter if possible. They request one picture per child to be eligible for the prizes. The final date for entries is Friday 4th December.

Full details can be found by clicking on Christmas Card Competition.

Gabi Paterson Artwork
17th November 2020
Gabi Paterson Artwork

For the past two years, local amateur artist Gabi Paterson has exhibited at the Olive Branch Café and customers have had the opportunity to purchase examples of greeting cards and original paintings.

This year an exhibition has not been possible but The Open Door Team felt able to make customers aware of her more recent work.

Also this year Gabi has widened the range of cards and has some of her unique paintings available.

To view the cards and artwork please visit our Gabi Paterson Artwork page.

New Presbytery of Fife
10th November 2020
Bennochy Church

A minister who was previously Chaplain General of the Army has been appointed as Clerk to the new Presbytery of Fife, which will be formally created in January.

Rev Dr David Coulter, who is currently serving as the parish minister of St Andrew's in the Grange on the island of Guernsey, will take up the role at Easter of next year.

Rev Dr David Coulter
Rev Dr David Coulter

The new Fife Presbytery will be formed from the Presbyteries of St Andrews, Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline and is part of a wider reform effort underway across the Church of Scotland. The goal is to reduce the number of Scottish presbyteries, from more than 40 to around 12.

Dr Coulter, who is originally from Northern Ireland, said he felt "humbled and delighted to be asked to be the new Clerk to the Presbytery of Fife."

"I was initially attracted to the Clerk's position in that the job description said the main purpose was to 'provide strategic and organisational leadership to the Presbytery'," he explained.

"I felt it sounded very similar to the role I had as Chaplain General to HM Land Forces from 2014- 2018.

"One of my congregation in Guernsey, a retired Minister's wife, said: 'so you are going to be the minister to the ministers.'

"I really like that and hope that I can quickly get to know all the ministers across Fife and do my best to be the 'minister to the ministers'."

Dr Coulter holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and his thesis looked at the role of Church Of Scotland chaplains in the Second World War.

Rev Jane Barron
Rev Jane Barron

Rev Jane Barron, an honorary chaplain at St Andrews University, has been nominated as Moderator of the Presbytery of Fife.

Speaking about working with the new Presbytery, the former English teacher and radio journalist said being the Moderator elect was a "privilege".

"I'm delighted to be part of a new team commissioned to care, challenge, resource, trust and sustain one another across the three historic areas marked by monarchs, martyrs and economists, and follow Jesus in the 21st century," she said.

"We are working to be freed of outlived ways, put mission at our very heart - and pray Christ's invitation 'Come, follow me', recovers anew its edgy, risky, exciting, compassionate love's call."

Ms Barron has previously served in parishes in Israel, Dundee, Aberdeen and St Andrews.

Rev Alec Shuttleworth, convener of the Presbytery of Fife Transition Group, said: "We are delighted to announce these appointments.

"In a time when the church nationally and locally has huge challenges to face we have caring, committed, and creative people to lead us.

"We are also recruiting a Director of Mission who will help all the congregations adapt to the new ways we need to work to serve the people of Fife."

Scottish Poppy Appeal 2020
7th November 2020

The Scottish Poppy Appeal is facing an unprecedented crisis as thousands of our volunteers are forced to stay at home because of the Coronavirus pandemic. This comes at a time when the demand on Poppyscotland’s vital, life-changing services for the Armed Forces community is increasing rapidly.

That is why we’re asking the public to donate differently this year, and support us like never before.

You can donate via the Scottish Poppy Appeal 2020 website where Gift-Aid can also be used.

Sunday School Restart
4th November 2020
Bennochy Church

I am pleased to say that Bennochy Sunday School will recommence on Sunday 15th November at 11am and will be led by Isobel Neilson. Due to Covid restrictions, the Sunday School will meet in one of the church halls, with the children being dropped off at the kitchen door. Parents will then enter the sanctuary, as normal, via the main front door.

The reason for this is two fold:

First of all, we are still restricted to the number of people allowed in the sanctuary, and although we are now able to accommodate up to 46 people, if the children are in the sanctuary, they will count towards that number. If they enter by a separate door and do not mix with the rest of the congregation, they will not.

The other reason is this, once the children are in the sanctuary, they would not be able to move from their designated seats, so not allowing them to leave for Sunday School part way through the service. No matter what age, they would need to stay in the sanctuary, and in their designated seat , for the whole service.

Please bear with us, as we seek to adhere to the Covid restrictions. If anyone has any questions about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Robin.

Pray for Schools Event
3rd November 2020
Pray for Schools Event

Chris Beattie from KART would like to invite you to attend a Pray for Schools Event (on Zoom) on Tuesday 17th November at 11am.

To attend this event please email chris.beattie@kart.me.uk.

You can also read the Event Invitation.

Salvation Army Christmas Appeal
29th October 2020
Christmas Appeal

The annual Salvation Army appeal for Toys is going ahead this year, but due to Covid restrictions, instead of bringing any donated toys to the church, please drop off any donations - new toys only - to the new Salvation Army hall on Hayfield Road, where they will have Covid secure procedures in place, including the ability to quarantine donations for 72 hours.

Anyone wishing to donate toys for this year's Salvation Army appeal can now take them to Kirkcaldy Salvation Army, at their new building, 30 Hayfield Road, Kirkcaldy. They are open to receive gifts on Monday's and Tuesday's up until the 8th December, from 9am - 4pm.

You can also contact them on (01592) 265 928 or email to kirkcaldy@salvationarmy.org.uk.

Suggested Gift List for Children and Young People:

  • 0-3 years: dolls, teddy bears, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes, puzzles

  • 3-5: dolls and action figures, cars, lorries, DVDs and CDs (music and nursery rhymes), colouring sets, pencils, crayons, books, puzzles

  • 5-9: educational games & toys, stationery (colouring sets, pencils, crayons, school sets), CDs & family friendly DVDs, books, puzzles, wordsearch, crosswords

  • 9-12: games and toys, stationery, DVDs, books, t-shirts, hair accessories, gloves, scarves, hats

  • 13-16: books, make-up and toiletries (please try to ensure non-allergic ingredients if possible), gloves, scarves, hats, t-shirts, hair accessories and gift vouchers

Service of Reflection
22nd October 2020
Service of Reflection

We’ve all been through enormous change and loss during the coronavirus pandemic, especially those of us who have lost a loved one. This year we warmly welcome you to join us on Wednesday 4th November at 5:30pm, in a moment of reflection, which will be held entirely online.

This special service of reflection is a time to come together in our grief, in what has been a difficult year and to remember as well as celebrate those we love, who are no longer here. It is also a chance for those experiencing a more general sense of loss to carve out time to acknowledge and reflect upon these feelings.

The service will be introduced by Amanda Mukwashi, our Chief Executive, and include a sermon from Dr Rowan Williams. It will give time and space for personal reflection, and there will be a moment in the service to light a candle at home.

If you would like to see the name of your loved one on the screen during a moment of reflection within the service, we can arrange that. Just email me at legacyteam@christian-aid.org.

The service of reflection is open to all; please do pass on to anyone who might be interested.

To access the service please visit From Darkness to Light Online service of reflection.

Scripture Union Holidays
22nd October 2020
Scripture Union Holidays

KART we would like to let Bennochy young people know about the exciting adventures happening in November at Lendrick Muir.

PERTH, KINROSS AND FIFE SU DAY EVENTS. We are running two day events at Lendrick Muir. Over the October break Scripture Union have been running national day events at the centre which have proved incredibly popular. As a result, we are planning two of our very own.

An action-packed day of activities, friendship building and Bible engagement. We would ask that you drop your young people off at 9.30am and pick them back up at 5:15pm. A hot cooked lunch is included. Places are limited and we expect them to go quickly.

Please book now, to avoid disappointment.

EQUIP NORTH ONLINE. This is an exciting new venture for S3 – S6. An opportunity to join up with other young people from across the North of Scotland for a fast-paced interactive fun youth time as we look this month at Jesus calming the storm. The title says it all ‘Teacher, don’t you care’. A night simply not to be missed.

On-line Security Presentation
3rd October 2020
Fife Interfaith

Members of the congregation are invited to take part in a Zoom presentation on the topic of On-Line Security organised by Fife Interfaith which will be held on Wednesday 21st October at 7pm.

Do you wonder what financial organisations do to protect your savings and your identity? Can you recognise a fake email? Could you spot a fake website?

This presentation, organised by Fife Interfaith Group, will give you a glimpse into the murky world of electronic fraud and give you clues to help you protect yourself.

If you would like to join in with this Zoom meeting (there will be an opportunity to ask questions directly to the speaker), please visit our Fife Interfaith page.

Living Well with Dementia
1st October 2020
STAND (Striving Towards A New Day)

Over the years, we at Bennochy have been slowly changing our environment to become more dementia friendly and have been awarded as a Dementia Friendly Space. We listened and toned our walls and floors and trained many to become Dementia Aware and Dementia Friends. This year has seen many people knit hippos (hold onto them still please, as they will be needed when gatherings can take place and we can mix in schools again), as a reminder to school children that part of our brain is called the Hippocampus and that part is often affected by dementia which some people in the community may be living with.

On our dementia journey, we have made connections with different groups and individuals who are living with dementia. We would like to continue to be friends and support them as best we can. A relatively new group in Fife is STAND. STAND (Striving Towards A New Day) is a group who supports each other and their families to live well with younger onset dementia. The group have recently made a DVD of who they are and have compiled a fun book – ‘The Recipe For Life’, which has loads of antidotes of who they are and what they do as a group along with an insight to their personal dementia journeys.

I have received some copies of the DVD’s and books, if you would be interested in receiving a free copy for yourself, friend or family member please contact me.

Louisa Turner, Development Worker:

The DVD can be seen on YouTube as a video via Standing Up For Dementia in Fife.

Intergenerational Pen Pals
1st October 2020
Pen Pals

In these times of social distancing and government restrictions, we all seek some form of routine and normality. We miss the everyday connections, seeing people we know well and seeing people from a distance. It is those relationships which makes us human. A new project is being planned and people like you, are being sought.

The project is Intergenerational Pen Pals. The project is between our Bennochy community and Dunnikier Primary School.

The schools' primary 4/5 class would like to write to and draw pictures for some mature members of our community, creating links with the wider community.

Connecting young and older people together. We are seeking individuals to write back to the pupils, so they can have that special person in their lives, that has taken time out of their day, and thought of them. For some children, they may never of had previously, received a letter, written just to them. We do visualize that the project will not be a one of letter exchange but will continue for a period of time. So we are seeking individuals, who wouldn't mind writing to a child and receiving an individual letter back.

Thus making and continuing connections during times of social distancing. We are aiming to begin the project after the October holidays and all letters will be sent via the school, to protect the young and older person's personal details. For further details of practicalities, and to sign up for this project, please contact me.

Louisa Turner, Development Worker:

Let us all work together to keep our connections with and in the community.

Church Reopening for Worship
7th September 2020
Bennochy Church

The Church will reopen for worship services on Sunday 20th September at 11am. However there will be some restrictions to allow us to follow government guidelines:

  • Space for only 36 persons due to social distancing requirements
  • Please bring a face covering
  • Hand sanitisers will be available on entry and exit
  • The services will be shorter than normal with no singing
  • No cushions available so please bring your own
  • No bibles or order of service available
  • No tea/coffee
  • Disabled toilet will be available

For details on how to reserve a place please refer to the Worship Services page.

Presbytery Appeal for PPE in Zambia
16th July 2020
PPE Appeal

An appeal to raise money for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Zambia is being set up and coordinated by Torbain church, and our Mission Partner, Jenny Featherstone.

You can find all the details on our Presbytery Appeal for PPE in Zambia page.

Update: £900 has now been raised and you can read about what it is being used for in Jenny's September News page.

Joint Summer Services
7th July 2020
Bennochy Church

Our usual Joint Kirkcaldy Town Centre Churches summer services will be available on-line this year starting on the 12th July until 9th August. This year the Congregational Church on the high street will also be taking part.

Two Churches each week will be providing an on-line YouTube video every Sunday, which will also be available on our Sunday Reflections page.

John Methven's Memoirs
4th June 2020
John Methven's 'Memoirs'

Lorriane and Brian Fairful have been helping to put John Methven's 'Memoirs' into book form. 20 copies have been produced. If anybody would like a copy, please contact Lorraine Fairful on 01592 644783. John is asking people to make a donation to Bennochy church.

Update: A huge thanks to all those who made possible the publication of John Methven's memoirs, which has now raised over £1000 for Church funds.

Foodbank Letter
28th May 2020
Kirkcaldy Foodbank

On behalf of the Kirkcaldy Foodbank I would like to thank you for your regular generous donations. Your donations are so crucial and so much appreciated by the foodbank and those it helps. Every donation is so important no matter how large or small.

Read the full letter by clicking Kirkcaldy Foodbank Thanks.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) National Lockdown
18th March 2020
Bennochy Church

Following Scottish Government guidelines, we have suspended all Church services and other activities, including all organisational use of the Church buldings. Congregation members are required to stay safe at home for the duration of the national lockdown.

We have added a selection of special pages to keep you informed while normal service is suspended. This includes videos From the Manse, Sunday Reflections, prayers and other useful information. You can also subscribe to our news emails service via the links on the right.

All services and activities are suspended until further notice

Full access to all our special 'lockdown' pages can be found via our Home Page.

Dementia Friendly Hippo
15th March 2020
Dementia Friendly Hippo

Fife Council has appointed a Project Manager to promote Fife as being Dementia Friendly. The project manager is visiting schools and delivering a specialist course for children on becoming a dementia friend. The gift of a small, hand sized, purple hippo is to be given to each child who undertakes the course.

Following the recent adult Dementia Friends Course at Bennochy, we were invited to help with some of the knitting of the hippos to be gifted. The aim is to have 1000 hippos to hand out to the children of Fife. If you can help, we have provided a Knitting Pattern.

This is an ongoing project. Finished hippos can be handed in at any time to Louisa Turner, Development Worker, Bennochy Church, or handed in to the church office (marked for Louisa) or the Olive Branch Café. Louisa will deliver the hippos to Ruth McCabe, Project Manager, Dementia Friendly Fife, for distribution amongst the school children of Fife. Thank you.

Lochore Meadows Walk
8th March 2020

The Walkers next walk is on Sunday 15th March. The walk is to Lochore Meadows. Carol will lead the walk including a stop at a refreshment venue. We will leave the church at 12.45pm and as usual all are welcome to join.

Bunny Drive
1st March 2020
Bunny Drive

Tickets for the Women's Group annual Bunny Drive are available from Group members. Come along to the Methven Hall on Tuesday 7th April at 6.30pm.

Enjoy an evening of fun for all the family, with prizes, raffle and a delicious light supper. Tickets - adults £4, children £2.


Coffee Morning
1st March 2020
Coffee Morning

A Coffee Morning has been arranged for Saturday 4th April from 10.00am until 12:00 noon. In addition to tea or coffee there will be Hot Cross Buns and Pancakes. Tickets £3.

The purpose of the Coffee Morning is to invite members to view items which will be displayed in the hall which we intend to remove from the Church as part of a Spring Clean to allow more space. There will be no charge if any member wishes to uplift these items.

We are also looking for some help on the day for preparing, serving and cleaning up. If you are able to assist please advise Isobel Neilson or George Drummond.


Flower List 2020
24th November 2019
Sanctuary Flowers

The Flower List for 2020 is now available in the vestibule of the Church. If you wish to donate flowers, please put your name on the list against the appropriate date or speak to Senga Booth.

Volunteers are always needed to help with delivering the flowers after the service (on 4 Sundays a year). If anyone can help please speak to Senga.

Click here to read news from 2019 ...