St. Ninian's Parish Church

National Grid Reference (NGR): NO 25650 00700, map


Cawdor Drive


This large and fairly unusual church building opened in 1970 in the west of Glenrothes, a new town that was planned and laid out in the 1950s and 1960s. It sits within open grounds with large areas of grass and semi-mature trees. Houses and flats, dating from a similar period, surround the church. St Ninian's congregation formed in 1965 when Glenrothes was in its infancy, and worshippers originally met in nearby Glenwood High School until St Ninian's Church was built. They celebrated the congregation's 50th anniversary in 2015.

J Dowling 2017

Description (exterior)

The church complex is a fairly striking and modern design, based around two hexagonal structures with a flat-roofed section inbetween. There is the main church or nave with a small tower, a series of meeting rooms and entrance space, and a large multi-functional hall. St Ninian's has red brick walls with wood panelling at the wallheads and the roofs are a combination of flat felt-covered areas with steeply-pitched, hipped roofs over the hexagonal nave and hall. These areas of roof are clad in metal sheeting.

The nave of the church is hexagonal in shape, as mentioned above, and it has numerous fairly large rectangular timber-framed windows with clear glazing in its elevations. The focal point in the roof, which is hipped and off-centre. From near the centre a large, truncated tower rises from the hipped sides of the roof. Its flat top has glass panels so as to create a roof light, which floods the interior with light. Attached on the western side of the nave is the flat-roofed, single-storey entrance vestibule and other rooms. To the west of this area is the large hall, which has a similar steeply-pitched roof, albeit with a flat central section rather than a tower. It has similar, large rectangular windows as found in the rest of the building complex.

J Dowling 2017

Description (interior)

The worship space in St Ninian's consists of the hexagonal nave and sanctuary. It has exposed brick walls and large, plastered ceiling and roof structure, which culminates in the large roof light, which is above the sanctuary area. The sanctuary is raised on shallow steps from the nave and has modern wooden furnishing, including the communion table, elders' chairs, font and lectern. There is an area to the side for the church band and a small pipe organ by Rushworth and Dreaper of Liverpool. The nave is carpeted and has moveable, stackable chairs.

The main entrance door in the northern elevation leads into a large vestibule area where the red brick walls have been left exposed. The nave and sanctuary, hall, meeting rooms and offices all lead off from this area and are entered through wooden doors, some of which have large glass panels. The large hall has a metal-framed roof structure which is exposed, with the roof panels attached to it. The open space is well-lit by the windows and provides a multi-purpose space for use by the church and local community.

J Dowling 2017

People / Organisations:

Church of ScotlandDenomination1970-NOW


  • Church: Build/construction (1968 to 1970)
  • Church: Consecration (1970/5/28)

Archive References:

Scottish Church Heritage Research Archive - Offline databaseReference: 7781

Bibliographic References:

Year Book 1990Church of Scotland1990Restenneth
Buildings of Scotland: FifeGifford, J1988p. 235
A New Town\'s Heritage: Glenrothes 1948-1995Ferguson, K.1996p. 61