St. Agatha's Roman Catholic Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NT 36600 99900, map


Address

Methil Brae
Methil
Fife
KY8
Scotland

Introduction

This is a Grade C Listed building, designed by Reginald Fairlie,  which opened in 1923.  It is on Methil Brae in fron of the fire station.    (Its predecessor, built in 1903, was across the road to the northwest and was demolished;    a nursery now occupies the site (no.10587).    The present church is in the Romanesque style, set in a tarmac precinct surrounded by a harled wall on the north east (street) side and a red brick wall on the north west.    A cross from the old church is in front of the south eastern elevation.  The manse is joined to the church building by a low extension on the south east side.   Also in the precinct is a single storey harled white washed church hall to the south east.


Description (exterior)

This church is built of brick and concrete, with a terracotta roof.

The concrete blocks in the upper section of the northern face have small dark stone inclusions, making the stone appear darker in colour.   A red tiled  porch roof extends outward from the centre of the roof, supported by four concrete block columns.   In the lower section of the elevation, under the porch roof, there is a square headed wooden door at either side of the face.   There is also a three light square headed widow with stone mullions between the doors.    Just above the porch roof, in the upper section of the face, are three arched windows.   The elevation is topped by a stone cross.
The south east porch has red brick detail at the base of the face and the church notice board is on this elevation.

A locked gate prevents access to the south-west elevation, and the fire station obscures the view of the elevation from the street, but the gable end is appears to be blank with a stone cross finial on the roof.

The lower stage of the south east elevation is of coursed concrete blocks whilst the upper stage is of red brick. There is a red brick dentil course under the eaves.    In the upper stage of the elevation there are four broad arched windows with smooth stone surround and the central panel of each window is of figurative stained glass.    At the north east end of the face is a porch, with an arched door and segmental stone arch above. A transept is at the south western end of the elevation.   There is a broad arched window in the north east face of the transept which is in the same style as the windows in the main elevation. A red tile roofed extension joins with the slate roofed manse to the southeast.   There are four small arched windows with in the extension.

The north west elevation largely mirrors the south east elevation, but there are two windows on the outer elevation of the porch, whereas on the south east elevation there is a door.    Also, on the outer elevation of the transept (which is not visible on the south east elevation due to the extension) there are three broad arch stained glass windows in the same style as those on the main elevation.   At the south west end of the elevation in the chancel there are three tall lancet windows.

A later hall (dating from the 1960s or 1970s) is a single storey harled building to the south east of the church.


Description (interior)

The church is without aisles, but it has side-chapels.    The nave has  dividing buttresses and fixed timber pews.   The chancel is panelled, with raised marble altar (ating from 1938) and piscina, and with  a balustred rail.   . In the north-west transept there is a gothic-style carved altar and baldacchino with painted panels flanking a statue of Christ.    In the southeastern transept is a Lady Chapel with altar and statue of the Virgin Mary.    The stained glass windows in the Lady Chapel feature the Holy Family and Nativity scenes, and are  signed by John Blyth.   The northwest transept has  triptych style scenes, Mary with Jesus flanked by angels, and saints.   The stained glass in the nave windows has a chronological succession of saints, Ninian, Patrick, Columba, Mungo, Cuthbert, Magnus, David and John Ogilvie;    on the north east the windows depict  Saints Andrew, Agatha and Margaret and  in the porch St Peter appearing to St Agatha:


People / Organisations:

NameRoleDatesNotes
Roman CatholicDenomination1923-NOW
Mr Reginald Francis Joseph FairlieArchitect1923-1924Building of the church. Also addition of the altar in 1938.

Events:

  • Church: Founded (1922)
    The foundation stone was laid on 14th December 1922 by Bishop Grey Graham from Edinburgh.
  • Church: Build/construction (1923 to 1924)
    Built as a replacement for the previous church which was located across the road.
  • Church: Addition (1938)
    Addition of altar.
  • Hall: Build/construction (1960 uncertified)

Archive References:

NameReferenceNotes
CSA: Inventory of Scottish Church Heritage - HardcopyReference: 6688Norman Myles
Dictionary of Scottish Architects - Online databaseReference: M004849
Historic Scotland Listed Building Reports - Online databaseView HS Listing Online: 46079
Canmore - Online database View Canmore Report Online: 224306
Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 6688

Bibliographic References:

NameAuthorDateNotes
Methil: History and TrailCameron, M.1986p. 36