Welcome to South Leith Parish Church
Meet our Minister
Our parish minister, Rev. Iain May, has been with us since March 2012. Iain was born and brought up in Penicuik.
Since arriving at South Leith he has found Leith a warm and welcoming place for his ministry. Iain is a former banker and naval officer, having served in both the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy as a navigating Officer. He has worked hard to maintain the strong links South Leith has with seafaring, including ensuring the annual Scottish Seafarers Service and the Wreath Laying Service at the National Merchant Navy Memorial in November, are well attended and continue to be a significant part of our community worship in Leith.
Iain is passionate advocate of the many social and economic issues that face too many of Leith’s residents. Iain chairs the NE Foodbank and also using his banking, financial and business skills help set up Castle Community Bank which aims to offer accessible and affordable savings and loans products to all in the Leith community. Both these initiatives are using the many skills and talents that can be found within the congregations and wider community in Leith and Iain sees a large part of his ministry as encouraging those with these talents to make life better for all in Leith.
Iain has an office right in the centre of our church activities, in the church hall on Henderson Street. If you want to chat to him about church life or life in general in Leith, he will be happy to spend some time with you and share a cup of coffee or tea in the busy Perc U café in the church halls.
Iain’s contact details are:
Office: 0131 554 2578
Manse: 0131 555 0392
E mail: JMAY@churchofscotland.org.uk
At South Leith, a Church of Scotland parish church, we believe that love is the heart of the Christian belief. Love for others, for God and the creation.
Every family needs a home, somewhere to get together, to share meals, to rest and find the resources we all need to have a full and active life.
For the family of South Leith Parish Church home is our church building and our halls.
Our Church building is in the Kirkgate, in the heart of Leith, just through the Kirkgate shopping centre at the foot of Leith Walk. (Leith is the historic port for Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland). You can see the location on this map.
In this beautiful building we worship and praise God. We pray for ourselves, the community, and the world. We sing psalms, old and new hymns, and contemporary songs. We regularly sharing in the sacraments of Communion and Baptism. We celebrate our festivals of Harvest, Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. We remember the past, we enjoy the present and we look to the future with hope.
Any home reflects the lives of its inhabitants, past and present and that is very true of our historic building where war memorials, coats of arms and magnificent stained glass windows are found next to a library, a refurbished gathering space and a prayer area. We like to have our special building open and used as much as possible and it is possible to arrange tours, weddings and concerts. We have disabled access facilities and parking available.
Transport to our buildings
Buses from the city centre to Leith include 7, 10, 12, 14, 16, 22, 25 and 49. The church is then a short walk from the bottom of Leith Walk through the Newkirkgate Shopping Centre. There is a public car park just off Henderson Street with a limit of 90 minutes free parking. The parking in the side streets near the Church is free.
Rev. Iain May BSc. MBA BD
The history of South Leith Parish Church
South Leith Parish Church has a substantial history going back more than 500 years and from that we have selected seven areas we consider to be of particular interest. If you would like more information on one of these areas please select it from the list on the right.
For further information on the history of South Leith Church and of Leith itself, please contact the church via our contact page. A link to a Leith historical website can also be found in the links page.
The Order of the Knights
The Trade Guilds
The Church & Community
The Church at War
Golf on the Links
At South Leith we hold that love is the heart of the Christian belief. Love for others, for God and for the creation. We usually say the Apostles Creed at our services which is an ancient, traditional statement of faith. The more modern statement below, is very helpful in describing the desired direction for our relationship with God.
We believe in the God of life who creates and loves people, who acts in history, and who promises never to leave us alone.
We believe in Jesus of Nazareth, who is Lord and Redeemer, who wants not to be idolised but to be followed.
We believe that we live in the presence of the Holy Spirit; without it we are nothing; filled with the Holy Spirit we are able to become creative, lively and free.
We believe in the church of Jesus Christ, a community where we find companions for the struggle of life; where we grow in understanding of the faith through worship, prayer, fellowship and action.
We believe that God has a purpose for us in this time and place.
We believe in living, hoping, laughing and enjoying the good earth.
We believe that people can change, attitudes can change, and that God keeps leading us towards life, and to a new world of justice and joy.
Our understanding is that life is essentially about relationships and so we try to give people opportunities to deepen these relationships. We hold four (Step) courses each year for people who would like to learn about the church, themselves, God and their personal opportunities in the ministry of the whole people of God.