Ministerial Update May 2022
To the Members and all associated with the congregations of Crail and St Ayle
I have taken over the role of Interim Moderator of the linked charge of Crail and St Ayle from the Revd Peter Neilson, who has served the congregation so willingly and graciously as both Interim Moderator and Locum during the illness of your minister, the Revd John Murray. Most of you will know that I was the Interim Moderator previously during the vacancy after the retirements of the ministers of Crail and St Ayle.
Sadly, the Revd John Murray has been signed off for a further period and I commend him and his wife to your prayerful concern. I have been impressed at the care and support you have given to Mr and Mrs Murray in this difficult period and I know that this will continue.
The Revd Scott Burton has been appointed initially for 3 months as the locum and he started work on the 1st of May. He comes recommended by Mr Neilson and has experience as a minister in the former Presbyteries of Kirkcaldy, Perth and Argyll. He will be engaged to conduct worship and take responsibility for funerals and other pastoral duties in the congregations.
Many will be aware through the newspapers and other media that the Church of Scotland has embarked upon a radical review of buildings and ministry through a new Presbytery Mission Planning Process. A draft Plan has been circulated and the Elders of both congregations discussed the proposals which affect this linkage in particular, and the larger area of the cluster which stretches from Largo to Kingsbarns. In the draft plan, the issues of the demands and implications for the work load of the leadership and ministers seemed overwhelming to the members of the Kirk Sessions. Therefore the Kirk Sessions have appointed a group to talk to the Presbytery of Fife planning group about the draft plan and also to prepare a submission to the Presbytery. I will keep you all informed of the progress of these efforts.
Many will be aware that the Buildings Officer of the Presbytery undertook an inspection of the Church building at Crail and, as a result, the General Trustees recommended that the building be closed temporarily. The Presbytery agreed to accept this recommendation and worship was therefore transferred to the hall from the 1st of May. There will be a structural survey undertaken of the building and this will assist all involved to understand the nature of the problems. The members of Crail are naturally concerned by this development. There will be arrangements made for alternative venues for the weddings and other events due to be held in the church during this period of temporary closure.
In these uncertain times with the horrific news of war and destruction in Ukraine, the predictions of a worsening cost of living situation here at home, and the continuing challenges of maintaining the worship and witness of the congregations, the invaluable support given by members to the bereaved, ill and vulnerable becomes more and more important.
In the post Easter Day period, we need to be encouraged and sustained by the hope and the example of the first disciples as they went out into the world to proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus. It was a time of tension, fear and the possibility of destruction, and required courage and trust in God’s love and power to overcome the most desperate of circumstances. We are promised the guidance and strength for the journey, knowing that while the road we travel may be rough and challenging, we are precious and cared for each and every day by a loving and caring God.
May the blessing of God be upon you all and your endeavours.
Nigel J Robb (Revd)