Howe of Fife Parish Church

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The name Cults is derived from the Gaelic word for nook or corner and has been spelled in many ways over the centuries including: Quhylkes, Quilt and Qowlts.

Cults Church is recorded as having been rededicated in 1176. There is a list of known priests and ministers from around that time until recently in the entrance hall. In the past 400 years there have been 33 ministers at Cults including the scholar John Rutherford (1563-77). The site is of ancient origin and bears all the hallmarks of a pre-Christian place of worship adapted by Celtic monks or Culdees in the early centuries of Christianity in Scotland.

Rev David Wilkie, father of Sir David Wilkie the popular 19th century artist, oversaw the building of the present church in 1793. The roof of the one it replaced is recorded as having collapsed as a wedding party was making its way to the church. The church building remains substantially the same as it did in the 19th Century with its box pews and oil lamps (now electric). At the entrance to the kirkyard is a small building referred to as the Session House which is used for midweek worship and for the Sunday School. Originally however it may have been the Mort House and dates to before 1793.

The bell tower was at one point in danger of collapse and the heritors had it mended with the supports from a table tombstone! The bell is inscribed “John Meikle, Edinburgh fecit (made) for the Kirk at Cults 1699”. The original weather vane and a sundial with a story can be seen inside the church. There are also several memorials to the Wilkie family and a small exhibition of his work and photos of local people celebrating his bicentenary in 1985

The Presbytery of Cupar linked Cults and Kettle on April 7th 1963 upon the retirement of Rev Archibald Bell from Cults, the Rev Wm Flint of Kettle having already retired on the last day of 1962.  

Cults Kirk is always open to visitors

Friends of Cults Kirk is a group drawn from church and community to raise funds for the maintenance and preservation of Cults church, its furnishings and fittings. They are involved in organising social and fundraising activities.

To learn more, please visit their website: Friends of Cults Kirk or Undiscovered Scotland

Friends of Cults Church