Heritage Display at Cupar Library

The next time you are passing Cupar Library, pop in to see their latest display … a fascinating exhibition on communion tokens from local churches.

In support of the Duncan Institute‚Äôs 150th birthday celebrations, Three Estates Cupar were awarded funding from Fife Cultural Trust for a series of display cases on the library’s stairwell. They were launched as part of Cupar’s Celebration Weekend in September (below) – with an unveiling by the present Lord Lyon King of Arms. The first exhibition included contents from St Andrews University and the National Library of Scotland – all helping to mark the Duncan Institute’s birthday.

Now a new exhibition has been installed with materials from the Steve Penrice Archive.

Steve’s display features Communion Tokens. Steve writes: “Communion tokens were mainly a feature of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, and their original purpose was to identify only those members who were considered worthy to take part in the Communion Service.” Steve adds: “The earliest token recorded was from Glasgow dated 1588. The practice gradually died out from the middle of the nineteenth century. The tokens are now collectors’ items, and the collection of them is called ‘paranumismaticia’.

The display at the Library carries information on tokens from many local churches – collected by Steve as part of his extensive archive built over three decades of research and collecting.

Upcoming exhibitions …

Steve’s display is one of a series that will be delivered over the coming months:

  1. January – March 2022: various organisations involved in the Fife Heritage Day
  2. April 2022: Open Studios North Fife
  3. May – August 2022: Cupar Museum & Heritage Centre
  4. Early September 2022: Heids & Herts
  5. Late September 2022: Three Estates Cupar

If you run a local organisation and would like to make use of this unique display area, please email Andrea McMillan, the Local Studies Supervisor, through this email link or pop in to see her at the library (upstairs) on either Tuesdays or Wednesdays (09.30am – 5pm).


Thanks for reading.