St James

Scottish Episcopal Church in Leith Edinburgh

All are welcome here

These words are inscribed on the stone lintel above our front door; they're as true today as when they were first carved on the wall of one of our previous church buildings hundreds of years ago.

We are a reflective congregation, inspired by a creative, spiritual practice of prayer, song silence and sacrament. We seek to offer support and encouragement, being a welcoming community and a safe place for all, whatever your age, race, gender, tradition, sexuality, ability or health.

Iain's Epiphany Season Message

Whereas Advent themes have to do with receptivity and waiting, the themes of Epiphany highlight our response to God’s light in our lives, beckoning to us to move beyond all we think we know. It has to do with seeing something new on the horizon that stirs within us. Like the Maji, we are sometimes called to follow a star, a light, a deep yearning and embark on a journey that requires courage, vulnerability and a trust that God is with us along the way. They teach us not to play it safe, but to let ourselves follow what is good, true and beautiful.

Sometimes we need God’s light to be embodied in human form, which is of course what the Christmas story is all about: God, both revealed and hidden, in a baby, in Jesus. However we also need others to be a light for us on our journey, and one such light for us and our world has been the Bishop Desmond Tutu, whose words, actions and presence reveal something of the nature of God for our world today.

So throughout the Epiphany season we will have a series of quotes by Desmond Tutu, to help remember him but also to act as a compass for our own journeys.


“We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew… Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful... and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world a little more hospitable to these beautiful things.”