A SCOTTISH hymn writer from the Iona Community will be visiting Aberdour's historic church this weekend.

John Bell is set to give a talk, 'Humour in the Holy Scripture', at the 900-year-old St Fillan's Church as part of its anniversary celebrations on Sunday, February 19.

The well-known broadcaster and Church of Scotland Minister will draw on stories from The Bible and discuss what makes us laugh and why we sometimes fail to understand other people's humour. Two or three songs, one of which is arguably the oldest song in the world about laughter, will also be discussed and explored.

John, whose work has reached across the UK, North America and other countries across the world, will also be leading the morning service on Sunday, which will begin at 10.30am.

The event is free of charge and is just one of many events planned throughout the year to mark the church's milestone year. It had previously been feared that celebrations would fall short as the church was earmarked for closure by the Church of Scotland in November last year.

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However, a spokesperson for the Church of Scotland has said: "As part of wider reforms within the Church of Scotland, the Presbytery of Fife is carrying out an evaluation of its buildings to ensure they are suitable for the Church’s needs and mission in the 21st century and to provide a solid base for growth in the future, while continuing to remain a supportive presence in the communities we serve.

"Under these proposals, St Fillan's Church in Aberdour will unite with Dalgety, Rosyth and the linked Inverkeithing and North Queensferry charges to form a single ministry team with thee full-time equivalent ministers, with potential additional support from an Ordained Local Minister (OLM) or Reader.

"St Fillan's has been designated as one of the Fife churches which could potentially be released. However, because of its historical significance, the Church of Scotland’s Historic Churches Working Group is looking at potential options for St Fillan's, along with other A-listed churches in the region.

"The Historic Churches Working Group, which is convened by Rev Dr Donald MacEwan, will report on its findings to the first annual review of the Fife Presbytery Mission Plan in June.

"No final decision has yet been made on the future of St Filla'ns Church while its potential for mission is still under review. Fife Presbytery, recognising the unique heritage of our historic churches and broad interest about their future, is looking forward to receiving the Historic Churches Working Group report in June.

"There are no plans to close St Fillan's Hall, which will remain an asset for the congregation and the wider community."

To celebrate the 900th anniversary of St Fillan's with a renowned Scottish hymn writer, simply head along from 3pm to 5pm on the day. There is limited space for the event so booking is recommended and tickets are available from The Purple Shop and Willie’s newsagents in Aberdour.

Donations to support the Iona Community are welcome and light refreshments will be provided.

For more information visit St Fillan's Church website.