Joy as Fife church welcomes new minister
Published on 25 January 2022 3 minutes read
A Fife church has welcomed a new full-time minister to provide spiritual leadership and help members continue to make a positive impact in the community.
Rev Dr Conor Fegan said he is delighted to have been ordained and inducted into Markinch and Thornton Parish Church in front of family, friends and colleagues.
The 33-year-old described the service as deeply moving and said he felt that he had found a community which shared his view of "what it meant to be a Christian" in 21st century Scotland.
Dr Fegan said: "To say I am excited about the journey ahead would be an understatement and I am looking forward to getting to know my new parish and its people.
"One of the first things that attracted me to the church was the real sense that there is a passion for community here.
"A commitment amongst the people of this parish, not only to the church and the people who can come on a Sunday, but also to the people all around us.
"To looking out beyond our walls."
Dr Fegan said his sense of what the church community was all about was confirmed "tenfold" when he met with the nominating committee.
"I found a church and a community that shared my view of what it means to be a Christian in 21st century Scotland," he explained.
"A place with its doors and heart flung open to friends and neighbours, strangers, pilgrims, and all those looking for something more in this, oftentimes difficult, world that we live in.
"I found a group of people with a sense of humour and a belief in the important part our churches play in the community, country and the world."
Dr Fegan grew up in a village in County Down in Northern Ireland and is married to Colin.
He has a degree in history with a focus on church history and theology, a Masters in Theology and a PhD in Practical Theology, all from the University of Aberdeen.
In between studying Dr Fegan, a member of Cults Parish Church up until now, worked as an advisor in a bank and as a mission development worker for the Church.
He said his life experiences have helped him hone the ability to talk with people in a variety of situations and to reach out to society beyond the church walls.
Dr Fegan began his training for the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in Aberdeen churches - South St Nicholas, Cove and Kincorth Church and Ferryhill Parish Church.
He later moved to Edinburgh and served at Richmond Craigmillar Parish Church and did his probation at Morningside Parish Church under the supervision of Very Rev Dr Derek Browning.
Dr Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly 2017-18 attended Dr Fegan's ordination service on the 20th of January, which was streamed online, and Rev Iain Greenshields, the Moderator Designate of the General Assembly 2022-23, preached.
Adapt and innovate
Looking ahead to his new role as parish minister, Dr Fegan said: "The past two years have been incredibly difficult for people all over the country and the church has had to adapt and do things in ways we might never have thought of or even wanted.
"Nevertheless, as we emerge into some sort of new normal, I am positive and excited about the possibilities of developing the new things we have learned.
"Building on the things we have always done and love and finding new ways to work together to spread the mission and message of Jesus.
"This is an exciting time as churches in the Glenrothes area continue to develop new and innovative ways of working together through the Glenrothes Area Churches Covenanted Partnership, which includes Markinch and Thornton.
"I believe that we are ready for a future that, with Jesus' light always shining before us, will be brighter than the past.
"For when we put our trust in God and in one another, we really can make a difference."
Bryan Gould, Session Clerk of Markinch and Thornton Parish Church, said members are "delighted" that Dr Fegan has joined them.
"We are very pleased and excited to be looking forward in faith with him to a glorious future, worshipping together and spreading the Gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ," he added.
"This is a key moment in our history because although we have enjoyed and appreciated the staunch services of Rev Alistair McLeod as our locum, Dr Fegan is our first full-time minister since March, 2018.
"He has our full prayerful support."