The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) gives this information about Dissenters:
- The Established Church in Cupar is collegiate [served by 2 ministers].
- Episcopal Church - there has always been a meeting house in Cupar and a pastor residing in the town until a few months ago. They are now a very small number, assembling for public worship only occasionally when the Episcopal minister from Pittenweem presides.
- The Relief sect - have a meeting house, built in 1769; numbers difficult to ascertain as they are in a state of constant fluctuation.
- Burghers and Antiburghers - a few who belong to the congregations who meet at Ceres and Rathillet.
- About 7 or 8 persons assemble on the Lord's Day in a private house in the town, but their principles and mode of worship are not known.
The New Statistical Account (written in 1836) gives this information:
- The exact number of Dissenters and Seceders in the parish has been impracticable to ascertain.
- 1 Episcopalian chapel; 2 chapels belonging to the Relief connection, 1 chapel for the Associate Synod, 1 chapel for the Old Light Burghers or Original Seceders, 1 chapel for the Baptists, 1 chapel for the Glassites.
A census of Religious Worship and Education was taken in 1851 at the same time as the census of population. A table of statistics about the churches in Fife at this time is available here. The statistics for the separate burghs were also given. Those for Cupar are as follows:
Cupar (Parliamentary Burgh): Population of Parish 7127, Population of Burgh 5686:
||Number of Places of Worship
||Number of Sittings
||Number of Attendants at Public Worship on Sunday March 30 1851 (including Sunday Scholars)
|United Presbyterian Church
|The number of sittings was not returned for 1 of the United Presbyterian Churches.
|Returns are altogether wanting for 2 other churches: Established Church 1, United Presbyterian Church 1.
Source: Census of Great Britain, 1851, Religious worship and education. Scotland. Report and tables. British Parliamentary Papers 1854 LIX (1764).
The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, a second charge of the Established Church in Cupar and one in Springfield, the Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church (St. James), the Baptist Church, 2 United Presbyterian Churches (Boston and Burnside) and the Free Church.
Information and pictures of the churches at the Scottish Churches website. Details of church history:
- Cupar Old and St Michael of Tarvit Church
The parish church of Cupar was dedicated to St Christopher and belonged, prior to the reformation, to the Priory of St Andrews. In 1415 a new parish church was erected by the Prior of St Andrews, which was partially pulled down in 1785 to make way for the present day building. A second charge was established for the parish of Cupar in 1625 and in 1938 the two charges were united together. Following this union the session became known as Cupar Old and St Michael of Tarvit and the church of the former second charge was later sold in 1951. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Cupar until the restructuring of the Presbyteries in 1976, when it became part of the Presbytery of St Andrews.
- Cupar Free Church / St John's United Free Church / St John's Church of Scotland
The session of Cupar St John's began at the Disruption of 1843 when the minister and a significant number of the congregation of Cupar Parish Church adhered to the Free Church. A church was erected for the new charge in 1844, which was later replaced in 1878. Following the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland in 1900, Cupar Free Church was termed Cupar St John's United Free Church. Following the 1929 union of the United Free Church and the Church of Scotland, Cupar St John's U.F. became Cupar St John's Church of Scotland . The Kirk Session, which remains active today, sits within the Presbytery of St Andrews.
- Boston United Presbyterian Church
The congregation of Cupar Boston U.P. church, which sits within the Presbytery of Cupar, can be traced back to 1770 when an area of land was purchased at Westport in the burgh for the purpose of erecting a Relief Church (hence the original name of Cupar Westport). Laurence Bonnar, who became the first minister of the newly established congregation, was ordained at a date no later than 1772. A new church, built on the site of the old one, was opened in 1849, and was now called Boston Church, within the United Presbyterian Church. Following the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland in 1900, Cupar Boston U.P. Church became Cupar Boston United Free Church but the congregation was dissolved in 1918.
- Cupar [associate, antiburgher, United Presbyterian, United Free], Bonnygate Church of Scotland
Prior to 1793 the Antiburgher families of Cupar, having no local place of worship, formed part of the Ceres congregation. In that year however the death of the Rev. Thomas Bennet, minister of Ceres Antiburgher Church, prompted a number of Antiburghers resident in Cupar to apply to the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy for provision of a separate charge. A temporary place of worship was consequently opened at Cupar in 1794 and in 1796 a church at Burnside was taken possession of, in which the congregation remained until 1866 when the church of Bonnygate was opened, by which time the church was within the United Presbyterian Church. Following the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland in 1900, Cupar U.P. became Cupar Bonnygate United Free Church and following the 1929 union of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church, the congregation was termed Cupar Bonnygate Church of Scotland. In 1972 the congregation, which sat within the Presbytery of Cupar, was dissolved.
- Original Associate Burgher Church
The Cupar Original Associate Burgher Synod congregation branched from that of Kennoway in 1816. It was, however, only in 1819 that the first minister, Ebenezer Anderson, was ordained. In 1839, the congregation and the minister united with the Church of Scotland. After the Disruption, some members of the congregation turned to the Original Secession Church, and sought from the Presbytery of Perth and Dunfermline a supply of preachers, but at the end of 1844 it was decided that the congregation could no longer be sustained and it was therefore dissolved.
- Provost Wynd Relief Church
The parish church of Springfield was opened for worship on the 27th July 1862 and the parish itself was disjoined from that of Cupar on the 19th July 1865. In 1975 Springfield formed a link with Monimail however in 1983 this arrangement was terminated in favour of a link with Ceres. The two linked charges of Springfield and Ceres later went on to unite in 1989, under the name of Ceres and Springfield. The kirk session sat within the Presbytery of Cupar until the restructuring of the Presbyteries in 1976, when it became part of the Presbytery of St Andrews.