Chapter 1 is a brief flight through Scottish Ecclesiastical and political history. It forms the background to each of the chapters that follow. The Parish of the Howe of Fife was once four distinct parishes, Collessie, Kettle (Lathrisk), Cults and Ladybank. While Ladybank was a 19th century invention the other three have a very ancient history with connections to St Andrews Cathedral and Lindores Abbey. The Reformation, the covenanters, plague, agrarian revolution, industrial revolution, the secessionists and the Disruption are all reflected in the lives of the local folk. So, too, is the coming of the railway, and the two great wars of the twentieth century. The contraction of the Kirk in the twenty-first century with its loss of influence and the ordination of women also feature in the saga. This book is a story of intrigue, hard work and rebellion. It tells of ordinary people as they seek God's guidance to live their lives in the face of political intrusion, financial hardship and institutional arrogance. In short, this book is about the history of Scotland as experienced by ordinary folk in one small part of the country,
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Angus Shaw is a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, moving to Fife with his wife Ann in 1972. A graduate of Aberdeen University he worked as a teacher of Religious Studies first at Viewforth Junior High School Kirkcaldy then Glenrothes High School before moving to Kirkland High School as Principal Teacher of Religious Studies in 1975. There he remained until ill health forced him to take early retirement in 1997. Since then he has been active in the church serving as Session Clerk of the Howe of Fife Parish Church twice; set aside as an Approved Preacher in 2004 and trained to officiate at funerals a few years later. The decision to write the history of the parish resulted from a conversation Angus had with the Howe of Fife Interim Minister Rev. Dr. Gordon McCracken in 2010. Within a few months Dr. McCracken was transferred to another charge and Angus became Lay Locum Minister at the Howe of Fife Parish Church. As a result, the book went on the 'back burner' until the present minister Rev. Bill Hunter arrived. Other commitments soon got in the way and once again the book was on the 'back burner'. Consequent upon these delays it has taken longer to write the book than it might. In spite of the hold ups, the exercise in researching, writing and publishing this volume has given him a great deal of pleasure.
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