After vehement protestations against the “institution of patronage”, a large body of ministers and elders withdrew from the Assembly and formed the Free Church of Scotland. About 300 members were left worshipping in Kirkcaldy Parish Church.
Kirkcaldy Old Kirk
For almost eighteen months, the Free Church worshipped in the building at East Port (later known as St James’ Church), but the congregation soon proceeded with plans to erect a church of its own. A purpose-built church was established in Tolbooth Street (behind the present day M & S store) opening there on 10 November 1844.
As the congregation of the Free Church grew and its work extended, it was decided, in July 1876, to erect a new church to seat 1150 people. The cost? An estimated £11,500, and Mr Patrick Don Swan, then Provost of Kirkcaldy, gifting a fine site at the top of Kirk Wynd.
The members of the Free Church named their new building ‘St Brycedale Church’ and the council named the street in front of it ‘St Brycedale Avenue’.
The building work commenced on 7 November 1877. The architecture is 13th Century Gothic. It is built of Fordell stone and the inside walls of the Tower are built of a hard stone from
Gallatown Quarry. The steps at all entrances were finely dressed Aberdeen granite.
St Brycedale Church was opened on Thursday 17 March 1881, and since that date, there have been only eight ministers serving in St Brycedale.
St Brycedale Church
The development of the present building was the brainchild of the current minister, Rev J. Kenneth Froude, recognising the fact that the building was extravagantly large for the needs of the congregation and only used once a week. The building has been divided in two, horizontally, at the level of the gallery, creating a two-storey structure. The lower part, at ground level, consists of different sized meeting rooms, an open reception area and a coffee bar. These facilities allow more flexible use of the building.
We now have a Centre which is open all day, 6 days a week, for people of all ages - from toddlers to senior citizens - used by many organisations within and outwith the church. The building is suitably equipped for conferences, concerts and exhibitions etc, and is wholly accessible to those with disabilities. We can provide catering of many kinds, and up-to-date media equipment. Above all, we have preserved a beautiful sanctuary, compatible with the size of our congregation’s needs in which to continue the worship of God in the heart of Kirkcaldy.
In November 2000, the congregations of St Brycedale Church and Kirkcaldy Parish Church united to become St Bryce Kirk.
Over the past year, St Bryce Kirk building has undergone repairs and upgrades of the roof, the heating system and the insulation to provide us with sustainable running costs for the next decade. We have received great support from several grant-giving bodies, particularly the Climate Challenge Fund, but have also raised considerable funds for refurbishment by our own efforts.
A leaflet with more information is available in the church centre.