Welcome to the Orthodox Church of Edinburgh
St. Andrew's is a pan-orthodox Church based in Edinburgh. We are a parish of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain, which is part of the Œcumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. We have services daily and Liturgies regularly on Sundays, as well as on major feasts. We worship primarily in English, but you will also hear Greek, Slavonic and Romanian.
Alongside a full weekly program of services of worship our parish is blessed with a large and lively multicultural community. Among other activities, you will find here an active student society, a charitable fellowship and community meals. This website contains information about our Church. Additionally, you will find here contact details and timetables for the Orthodox communities of Aberdeen, Dundee, St. Andrews, the Highlands and Bamburgh in England.
We offer students an opportunity to share their discovery and practice of the Orthodox faith, providing them with guidance and insight from various speakers, as well as a regular opportunity to socialize with other Christians.
The Charitable Fellowship organizes fund raising events to help people in need and does other miscellaneous charitable work.
Come and join the choir which sings in Greek and Russian style.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,
May the Grace of God and His Peace be with you and your families,
It has been some time now that, because of this global crisis, we have not seen one another. In obedience to our Archbishop and our civil authorities who are responsible for our public health and well-being we had to close our church. Without a doubt, we must all adhere to the guidelines of the government and show social responsibility in our common fight against the pandemic. But it is also true that we all feel the pain of not been able to worship together in our Church, receive Holy Communion, enjoy the fellowship with one another. The life of our thriving, joyful, vibrant, prayerful Community looks as if it has come to a very sudden halt.
But is it really so? As Fr Zacharias, in his wonderful Word of Consolation for the Pandemic, points out, we may be temporarily deprived of public worship and Holy Communion, but nothing can deprive us of Christ if we want to abide in Him. In prayer we are united with the Lord and with one another. Fr Zacharias reminded us of the Palestinian Fathers who stayed in voluntary isolation for the whole of Lent in order to deepen their prayer and their communion with Christ so that they may participate more worthily in the joy of the Resurrection and the Common Cup. We may also recall the life of St Mary of Egypt who in forty years was able to receive Holy Communion only twice and yet she communed daily with Christ in her heart and mind and became an abode of the Holy Spirit.
During these days for isolation you too may have had the same feeling as I had: a sense that now we have a special opportunity to develop a more authentic relationship with God and our neighbour and to get to know ourselves a little better. For many this time of stillness is proving to be—as one parishioner has put it in an email to me—an exercise to refocus our prayer, to realise God’s presence in our lives, to appreciate the beauty of our church services as we read them at home, alone or with our families, to discover new priceless gems in our Holy Scriptures. After all was it not God Himself Who said: ‘Be still and know that I am God?’ (Ps 45:11)
This trial, just like any trial, can be a cleansing process which will help us reassess our way of life and priorities. It is proving to do so already. For the time being we may not be able to worship together and yet it feels like we are now more united in prayer than before. Many of us, together with our families or alone, pray for ourselves and one another more fervently than previously. Together with millions of other Orthodox Christians around the world we say the Jesus Prayer every night at ten o’clock and Supplicatory Canons and Acathists are read daily in many households. Needless to say, the clergy pray for all of you in the services and their private prayers.
We may be physically distant and yet there is an unprecedented spirit of unity growing right now in our Community. An outpouring of Christ-like love is taking place amongst us. Every day I receive phone calls and emails from parishioners asking how they can help the church, the vulnerable, the infirm, those who live alone. People, who previously were too shy to get involved, now are at the forefront of this labour of love. Some come to the Church and leave food in the hall to be picked up later by our brethren in need while others phone those who live alone or are vulnerable and offer them practical help or a kind word.
In no time a Response Team of twenty-two volunteers was organised to buy and deliver food, medicines and other necessities and provide psychological support to those in need (including members of the wider community). May God bless them and reward them richly! Yes, we can grow in faith, hope and love even now, or perhaps especially now! At a time when many voices around us spread fear and despondency let us remind ourselves of the life-giving words of our
Lord: ‘’In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer; I have conquered the world’’ (John, 16:33). Christ our God, the Author of Life and Conqueror of Death, is with us!