of St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church
A decent handsome church
Two churches, St Andrew’s and St George’s,
were planned as principal elements in what was then one of
the largest urban building schemes ever conceived - the New
Town of Edinburgh. James Craig’s plan of 1767 for the
First New Town laid out a grid pattern of streets reflecting
classical order and rationalism. It was the age of the Scottish
Enlightenment, and Edinburgh was becoming internationally
renowned as the centre of new philosophy and thought.
The Town Council held a competition for
a design for the eastern church, St Andrew’s, which
was won by Captain Andrew Frazer and Robert Kay. The church
was founded in 1781 and opened in 1784.
In 1843 one of the most significant events
in Scotland of the 19th century took place in St Andrew’s
Church - the Disruption. Fuelled by increasing concern and
resentment about the Civil Courts’ infringements on
the liberties of the Church of Scotland, around one third
of the ministers present at the annual General Assembly walked
out, cheered by onlookers outside, and constituted the Free Church of Scotland.
The union of two congregations
In 1964 the congregation of St George’s
Church in Charlotte Square, at the western end of the New
Town, was united with St Andrew’s, forming St Andrew’s
and St George’s. The parish today constitutes the whole
of James Craig’s First New Town and a small part of
the early 19th century Second New Town of Edinburgh.
New ministry in the New Town of
St Andrew’s and St George’s
history has been characterised by service to people, especially
the poor. The doors of the “decent handsome church”
specified in 1781, remain open daily. We welcome not only
those living in the New Town, but the whole wider community
of the city centre. We are also open to people in many parts
of the world, with whom God’s love and fellowship are
shared in both practical and spiritual ways.
2010: The Union of St Andrew's and St George's with St George's West
On 1 January 2010 the congregation of St Andrew's and St George's in George Street united with the congregation of St George's West in Shandwick Place to form St Andrew's and St George's West.