Old St Paul’s
I worshipped in this lovely Edinburgh church today. The original congregation of Old Saint Paul's was a breakaway group from Saint Giles' Cathedral, which had become the Cathedral of Edinburgh in 1634. The last bishop at Saint Giles', Alexander Rose, left the Cathedral in 1689 accompanied by much of his congregation. He founded a new place of worship in an old wool store in Carrubber's Close – this lies close to the present site of Old Saint Paul's.
I first came here very shortly after I became part of the Episcopal Church, when Richard Holloway was Rector and I was young, with a young son. Today, Richard Holloway was sitting just behind me in the congregation, and the Eucharist was celebrated by the newly-elected future Bishop of Brechin, and the magic was as potent as ever.
I found myself sinking through time, singing the Martin Shaw setting almost from memory, though it must be 15 years since I last sang it. The words of the Grey Book were familiar and almost automatic; the congregation sang in tune and in time (the Choir was on holiday), and the celebrant sings beautifully. Incense rose in clouds, the sermon spoke to me, I felt at home.
A good way to celebrate our 48 years of marriage - and a great brunch in Contini’s finished it off!