Parish History

At the beginning of the 20th Century, Edinburgh was a rapidly expanding city of about 300,000 people. Archbishop Smith, of the Catholic Diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, decided to open a new church to serve the growing western fringe of the city. A mansion house on Ravelston Terrace was duly purchased for the then-substantial sum of £3,120 and another £850 was spent on the construction of the new church, a “temporary” wooden structure, which was blessed on 27th April 1902 and which still stands today.

The first parish priest was father Hugh P Considine. He and his successors in the post are listed below:

  • Father Hugh Considine (1901-1936)
  • Father James McGuire (1936-1939)
  • Father James Turner (1939-1950)
  • Father Walter Glancy (1950-1956)
  • Father James K Birnie (1956-1977)
  • Father Anthony Kiernan (1977-1989)
  • Father Edward Gallagher (1989-1996)
  • Father Stephen Judge (1996-2001)
  • Father Michael Regan (2001-2005)
  • Father George Suszko (2005-

These old pictures show the interior of St Andrew’s church before the Second Vatican Council reforms in the 1960s. Previously the altar was at the back of the church, and was then brought forward to its current position in the middle of the sanctuary. As visitors to the church will see, the communion rails have been moved and re-used as the front row of the pews. Modern lighting has helped make the church rather more attractive.