Nostalgia: Hallowed be thy hame

St John's and St Cuthbert's in splendid isolation
St John's and St Cuthbert's in splendid isolation
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THEY are among the most iconic buildings in the Capital – but for many of the city’s churches their life as a place of worship ended long ago.

Today, however, it emerged that the Orthodox Community of St Andrew, which holds services at a former school on Meadow Lane, is trying to buy the deconsecrated Chapel Street Church.

Morningside Church in 1960

Morningside Church in 1960

The 18th century, grade B listed building stopped being a church in 1969 and has since been used as a storage facility by the University of Edinburgh, but could now be brought back into the use for which it was intended.

Of course, some of the Capital’s most eye-catching churches are still used for regular worship – but it’s fair to say not many people will remember when St John’s (Episcopal) Church and St Cuthbert’s Parish Church sat so unspoiled in their surroundings, next to an almost empty Princes Street – cluttered only with trams.

St Stephen’s Church on the intersection of Howe Street and St Stephen Street, became the St Stephen’s Centre in 1992, and while it is still occasionally used for worship it is generally regarded as a community centre – though few will have seen such an unspoiled view as those enjoyed by residents in 1956 when the area only had one or two cars.

Founded in 1429, Corstorphine Old Parish Church is still going strong today – although back in 1959 it was in need of some extensive repair to keep it open to the public.

Repairs required at Corstorphine Old Parish Church in 1959

Repairs required at Corstorphine Old Parish Church in 1959

Both Morningside Church and the Canongate Kirk are still in use – Canongate may feel increasingly hemmed in by the developments around it, but just recently it hosted a royal wedding, although the crowd’s couldn’t quite top those that turned out to see Queen Elizabeth II when she visited the Capital in 1952.

The new Queen visits Canongate Kirk in 1952

The new Queen visits Canongate Kirk in 1952

St Stephens Church - exterior showing cars and other vehicles in 1956.

St Stephens Church - exterior showing cars and other vehicles in 1956.