Welcome to Old Saint Paul’s

A warm welcome from the Rector of Old Saint Paul’s, Canon Ian Paton:

Welcome to this historic and living congregation in the heart of Edinburgh. This website will help you get a sense of the people and the range of events and activities that make up our Church.

Old Saint Paul’s is one of the original Episcopalian churches in the city of Edinburgh, formed when Bishop Rose and his congregation were forced to leave Saint Giles’ Cathedral at the time of the Presbyterian establishment of the Church of Scotland in 1689.

Since that time, members of the congregation have included people of all walks of life in Scottish history, from supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie to enthusiasts for the modern Scottish Parliament, from the wealthy to the poor, from the conventional to the eccentric. One of the gifts God seems to have given us, in the past and in the present day, is an immense variety of members. Old Saint Paul’s is a kaleidoscope of the faith.

Old Saint Paul’s Liturgy

This great variety of people share something in common - they love the liturgy at Old Saint Paul’s.

The uniquely special services that happen in Holy Week, the most important part of the Christian Year, are profound symbols of Christian faith. There is Palm Sunday, followed by Tenebrae on Wednesday, the High Mass of Maundy Thursday with washing of the feet and stripping of the altars, the Liturgy of Good Friday and the wonderful celebration of High Mass of the Easter Vigil at 5.00 in the morning, followed by breakfast and a second High Mass at a more civilised 10.30am!

Of course there are other special services throughout the Christian Year: please see Forthcoming Services for details of our next services, and Regular Service Times for times of our regular weekday services.

Old Saint Paul’s Activities

We value the link with former ages represented by the ancient liturgy and its formal dignity. At the same time we don’t wish to have our eyes only on the past. We are also looking to the needs of the present world, including those of the people we are involved with in our own lives, day by day.

This we make tangible in a whole range of ways from our Walking Group and the Tithing Group to the Vestry and the Finance Committee to the Property Committee. We look after our young adults and children, and of course we support and value our wonderful Choir. And we run social get-to-know-you events too!

Finding Out More

From time to time we run short courses for people who want to find out more about the worship tradition here, or perhaps about the Episcopal Church, or about the Christian faith more generally. But please ask me - or any of the people named in our Who’s Who section - if you have any questions or suggestions.

So whether or not you have already come inside Old Saint Paul’s, I would like to invite you to find out a little more about just who we are and what we do. Above all, I would like to welcome you into our church, to be a part of our vibrant and interesting - indeed, some say distinctively offbeat - congregation.

The ordained ministry team at Old Saint Paul’s consists of myself and Jenny Wright (stipendiary deacon). We are always available to you for pastoral support, personal discussion, and spiritual counsel. Or just to be listening ears. If you would like to talk, please contact us.

I hope that you will find Old Saint Paul’s to be a true spiritual home, a community in which you can feel accepted and valued for being yourself, and in which you too can find the love of God and the friendship of others. I am looking forward to meeting you.

Canon Ian PatonCanon Ian Paton
Rector, Old Saint Paul’s Church

Palm Sunday

A Palm Sunday procession through Edinburgh's Old Town


'Mikado' performers

The Old St Paul's Reduced Opera Company perform 'Mikado'


Old Saint Paul's congregants enjoying coffee after church

Coffee in the church hall after a service