Building our future on the shoulders of our past

A Short History of Macainsh Church

In 1843, 400 ministers withdrew from the Church of Scotland. Macainsh Free Church came from that disruption.

As early as 1849 the Free Presbytery began by holding Sunday Evening Services in the village school at a cost of one shilling per session. A probationer was appointed to attend to the spiritual needs of the district. This covered the parishes of Auchterderran, Ballingry and part of Beath.

In 1855 Mr P Macainsh began work at the Methil Station  On application from Lochgelly it was agreed to transfer him to the Station there. A deputation from Lochgelly requested presbytery to support their application to the next General Assembly to be sanctioned as a ministerial charge. This was duly agreed providing the congregation could satisfy the sustentation[1] fund and that their contributions would not be less than £100.

Plans were laid before presbytery in 1856 for a new church. The building in the gothic style would seat 500.

The ordination of Rev Macainsh took place in the Iron Company’s School in 1856. On the same day the foundation stone was laid.

The church is sited on land gifted by the Earl of Zetland. The land is on the Lumphinnans Estate, at the east boundary of Ballingry parish,the ground is approximately 7/8 of an acre.

The church was opened for worship by Dr Hetheringham, Professor of Church History on 19th July 1857. Rev Macainsh preached in the afternoon.The collection amounted to £22.14s. The congregation having contributed £40. earlier in the week to make the church debt free.

The need for further seating led to the gallery being added in 1881. A small hall was built in 1884 followed by a larger hall in 1906. The sum of £4.13s.8d remained in credit, from the money collected by fundraising.

The Macainsh congregation was, and is working class and democratic in all its ways.It has exercised a profound influence for good in the community. Rev Macainsh worked tirelessly both in his church and surrounding districts. For years before retiring from active ministry he engaged student assistants, paying their salaries from his own pocket.

Mr James Kinnell who had acted as Precentor from 1857 announced his retiral in 1886. His successor Mr D Low received a salary of £12 per annum. 1901 saw the question of introducing music to the church raised. The congregation voted 122 in favour and 46 against. Mr T Wilson was appointed to that post.

The roll of members in 1915 was 586.

In 1929 with the union of the established church, this saw the name changed to Macainsh Church.

After the Great War a new pulpit with memorial panels was installed. A second memorial was erected after World War 11. In 1945 two stained glass windows were gifted by Mrs J Clark in memory of her father and grandfather who had both played prominent parts in the history of Macainsh Church. Her grandfather Thomas Dick, attended the first session meeting of the church.

In 1965 the pews were replaced with pews gifted from West Coates Church in Edinburgh.

The decades since the war has seen the church upgraded in different areas, small hall, toilets, kitchen, large hall and corridor, all work carried out by volunteer labour.

The last minister and first woman to be appointed in the church history Rev MaryAnn Rennie was inducted under the terms of terminable tenure in 1998. A presbytery decision to proceed with a union in 2002, saw the name change to St Serf’s Parish Church in 2005.

[1]  Sustentation  -  support and sustain financially

Below are links to film of past Macainsh Sunday School picnics. A Fascinating view into a past world

Macainsh Sunday School Picnic 1963

Macainsh Sunday School Picnic 1965

Macainsh Sunday School Picnic 1967