St Peter's Episcopal Church, Inverkeithing
Hope Street, Inverkeithing and Inverkeithing High School, Hillend Road                             

Fife Church Graft

At the time the Rev. Dean Norby was inducted as priest-in-charge of St. Columba’s, Aberdour, St. Peter’s, Inverkeithing and St. Serf’s, Burntisland, in June 2014, the three congregations and that of Dean’s previous church, St. Paul’s and St. George’s, Edinburgh, agreed to work together with him to create what we call a church graft.

You will know a ‘graft’ as when a branch from one tree is spliced on to the root stock of another tree. By analogy, a church graft can be seen as a branch from one church spliced on to the root stock of another church or in our case another three churches. The St. Paul’s and St. George’s people who lived in Fife would graft themselves on to the Aberdour, Burntisland and Inverkeithing group of Episcopal churches to form a larger grouping.

As well as providing people to boost our three churches, St. Paul’s and St. George’s promised to support us both financially and with resources. Financial assistance would be for the first three years.

The period from the induction in June to December 2014 was to be a time of building up relationships between the Fife churches and the people from St. Paul’s and St. George’s who were joining us. To further this aim, at this time, Dean introduced us to Connect Groups (house meetings for prayer, praise and Bible study). Dean also used the period to firm up the details such as: what the new enlarged group would be called: ‘All Souls Fife’ and when the launch of a new contemporary service would take place: January 2015.

During the introductory period the Archbishop of Canterbury came to visit. Rev. Dean told the Press: “It was a flying visit to Aberdour but the purpose of the Archbishop coming was to encourage and pray for the community of Fife and the Church Graft.” Read more on the Scottish Episcopal Church website.

In January 2015 the Sunday morning service at St. Peter’s was completely revamped, both in format and venue, a contemporary style of family worship at the High School replacing the sung Eucharist we were used to. There's a picture of our first new-style service (which took place in the High School on Sunday 25 January 2015 at 11am) on the diocesan website: Launch of new congregation at All Souls, Fife. The move was an important part of the Fife Church Graft. It was then that people from St. Paul's and St. George's, Edinburgh came to join us. There were over 70 people gathered on that first Sunday, what with the old congregation, the new people from St. Paul’s and St. George’s and well-wishers. With numbers so great and the need for breakout space for the children it was obvious why we had to move to the larger accommodation at the High School.

As the year progressed the Sunday attendance at St. Peter’s settled down at around 50. The number of connect groups rose from three to five.

Also, as part of the new arrangements, we began holding a regular evening service of worship and prayer at St. Peter's Church on the first Sunday of the month. However, there was a need for a more accessible venue, so the evening service was moved to the Holiday Inn, Halbeath. New projects did not stop at that, however.

Dean was convinced more could be done for the young people of the area. In 2016 a development officer was appointed to pilot a Scottish Bible Society project to improve children’s reading by setting up after-school clubs for school children. The clubs would encourage members to improve their reading skills through the reading of the Bible. The plan was to open clubs in Inverkeithing, Aberdour and Burntisland.

So, there you are, a variety of ways for us to come together to worship God. Consider what suits best and try it. If you are at school you might like to improve your reading skills at a Bible reading club. If you enjoy lively modern music, the place to be is the new contemporary service at the High School. If you prefer a quieter, liturgical form of worship, this can still be found, and within All Souls Fife too, at one of our other churches: St. Columba’s, Aberdour or St. Serf’s, Burntisland. Why not try them all? Hope to see you soon!


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