FEATURES at FAIRLIE PARISH CHURCH
THE WEATHER VANE - Latifa
"I feel the winds of God today;
Today my sail I lift,
Though heavy oft with drenching spray,
And torn with many a rift;
If hope but light the waters' crest,
And Christ my bark will use,
I'll seek the seas at His behest,
And brave another cruise.
Quite a few churches have ships as weather vanes but Fairlie Parish
Church is probably unique in having a yacht.
She is the yawl Latifa, built at Fairlie and launched in 1936. Constructed
for ocean racing she was regarded
by the late William Fife as his finest design and it was for that
reason she was given her name --
a Hebrew word meaning "most beautiful" -- and was chosen
by the Misses Fife as their brother's memorial.
Latifa still sails the Caribbean and the Mediterranian; her scale
sheathed in copper, swings always to windward on the spire of Fairlie
Officially the weather vane recalls
William Fife, O.B.E., J.P., who was described at the time of his
as "a great genius, whose achievements will always occupy a
leading place in the records
of the yachting world". But Latifa also represents hundreds
of boats designed and built by three generations
of the Fife family and is no less a tribute to the local craftsmen
whose loving and meticulous work
over the years gave so much pleasure to so many people and made
Fairlie literally world famous among yachtsmen.
Acknowledgement to Mr David McNeur, D.A., who drew Latifa, originally
for the cover of a church handbook
The banner which hangs on the rear wall of the Church was made and
gifted to the Church by members of the
Women's Group. The centre
panel depicts the Cross of Christ, radiating beams of life, and
descending dove of the Holy Spirit, along with the legend. "
I am the Life."
Surrounding this panel are thirty
smaller panels, each representing an
individual impression of some aspect of the life of the village
The Banner was accepted on behalf
of the congregation and dedicated to the glory of God by the minister,
the Rev. Robert J. Thorburn, during the dedication service for the
Woman's Group on Sunday 24th. September, 1989
THE FAIRLIE STONE
The Fairlie Stone depicts, on the left, a man armed with a circular
shield and sword, lying in a horizontal position:
in the middle, a beast proceding towards the man with its mouth
open as if ready to devour him;
and on the right, a beast biting the end of its tail. The figures
on the stone are very similar to those on
the side of the Inchinnan Cross Slab dating from the 9/10 th century
and also to Pictish carvings on the
stones in Meigle and St Vigeans museums. The figure of the 'fallen'
man is apparently fairly unique and the
iconography unclear, however, this stone is one of a limited number
of early medieval sculptured stones in Scotland.
The Stone was recovered from the
Chapel House in Kelburn estate. The Chapel House was built in 1745,
according to an elderly resident in 1894, the site of an early Chapel.
She said that she had helped to remove
the ruins and what could not be moved away was blown up with gunpowder.
The Fairlie Stone had been used as a lintel over a fireplace and
was conered in blacklead.
The house was demolished in 1844-1845 and stones from it were used
in the construction of the
Free Church manse, later called St Margaret's Manse;. The stone
was intended to be built over the door but
it remained in the Manse garden, then later removed to St Margaret's
Church and inset into the wall
of the front vestibule. Following the union of St Margaret's and
St Paul's Churches the Stone was removed
to and inset in the wall of the vestibule of the former St Paul's,
known, since the union, as Fairlie Parish Church.
THE PANELLED CROSS
The Panelled Cross was originally presented to St Margaret's Church
in 1952 by Ronald Tippet in memory
of his wife,Isobel McLean, who died 1st, November 1950. The Cross
was removed from St Margaret's
when the Church was converted to the Church Hall and positioned
behind the pulpit of Fairlie Parish Church.