Rallying call to save Pittenweem Parish Church from closure

​The Church of Scotland has announced it is proposing to close Pittenweem Parish Church, causing anger among local residents.
Pittenweem Parish Church and TollboothPittenweem Parish Church and Tollbooth
Pittenweem Parish Church and Tollbooth

​East Neuk & Landward Councillor Sean Dillon is to hold a public meeting on February 1 to bring together Pittenweem residents to retain the village’s A-listed parish church as a community asset following its proposed closure by 2027.

The meeting, to be held in the church, will discuss the possibility of creating a trust to design and implement a plan to save the building on behalf of the community.

The church building, dating back to at least the 16th century, is currently earmarked for closure under the Presbytery of Fife’s Mission Plan. However, Councillor Dillon hopes that the residents of the village will join him in efforts to prevent it falling into private ownership.

Councillor Dillon said: “The closure of the parish church will mark a sad moment in the history of Pittenweem; however, it will also be a time of great opportunity. We are being presented with a blank canvas at the heart of our community which could be converted into somewhere that will benefit our village for generations to come.

"While there are excellent examples of churches being transformed into private residences, I believe it would be a travesty for Pittenweem Kirk to fall into private hands when it could be put to use serving our community.

"There is also the risk that private ownership may result in the building being left to decay or be destroyed by vandals. We only need look along the coast to the empty site where the former Lundin Links Hotel once stood to see what could happen if it is left to deteriorate.”

Former churches across the country have been repurposed into all manner of community ventures, from civic spaces and cafés to petrol stations and climbing centres. Therefore, if anyone has any ideas or skills that would be beneficial to this project, they are invited along to the meeting. I should also emphasise that a link with the church or the Christian faith are not prerequisites to becoming involved.

Anyone who would like to get involved, email: [email protected]

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