A look back at a Moving and Uplifting Easter

Easter Sunday 2024 brought communities from the streets of Craigsbank and East Craigs – and much further afield – together for a very special Cafe Church service. Those who gathered did so round tables of friends, family and strangers, and enjoyed baskets filled with hot cross buns, scones, chocolate-crispie easter cakes, coffee and tea, jams and honey. They enjoyed too the company across generations, heartfelt prayer, the sound of young voices from Junior Music Makers AND three baptisms. The children were swept up in daffodil and seed planting and a superb easter egg hunt in the sanctuary. All left uplifted.

‘Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.’

Hebrews 13:2

The Edinburgh Easter Play

On Easter Saturday, the Edinburgh Easter Play took place in Princes Street Gardens to a crowd of some 600, following the street players as they moved around the gardens acting out the life of Jesus. The actors always give everything to this annual event and the sound carries right across the gardens. No matter how familiar from our reading of the bible, some scenes were deeply moving, powerful, upsetting. It is entirely different to see the story played out before you.

The crowd was made up from local Christians, interested by-standers, tourists and those who had never before heard the story of Christ.

At one point, I stood next to a young Scottish woman in her late 20s who knew the name of Jesus, knew he was in the bible but this was her first introduction to the story of his life, death and resurrection. She was deeply moved and very interested to know more.

And then there was the young man who was obviously enjoying his Easter weekend and exclaimed in horror, ‘they are crucifying someone in Edinburgh in broad daylight!’. And indeed they were, under the towers of New College.

Both left with memories they will not forget. As did I.

Listen up! Her Audio Bible is the perfect discovery on International Women’s Day

Her Audio Bible UK is a project that brings together women from a diversity of backgrounds to read from a place of personal faith and share the word of God

Over the past year, female readers from across the UK, have helped to create ‘Her Audio Bible’.

By International Woman’s Day 2024, nine books from the bible have been recorded and are available free of charge online (although donation is encouraged) The readings offer a variety of accents and voices from women right across the UK. You can read more about the project here.

The first readings are available now with more to follow in the coming months. Follow the links below for an uplifting listening experience.

Matthew, read by Rev Rosie Frew, Church of Scotland Parish Minister to Bowden and Melrose

Mark, read by Paxi Chirau, A community nurse in Oxford

Luke, read by Bryony Reynolds, Full-time, professional actor based in Oxford

John, read by Michelle Woodcock, a priest in the Church of England and a teacher, living in Kendal

Galatians, read by Kathryn Hope, a teacher and mother to three. This Vicar’s wife lives in Cumbria

Ephesians, read by Kally Adderkin-Hall, a journalist, broadcaster and film producer living and working in Exeter

Colossians, read by Sarah McCullough, a secondary school teacher living and working in Belfast

James, read by Kathryn Hope, a teacher and mother to three. This Vicar’s wife lives in Cumbria

Revelation, read by Rev Prebendary Dr Isabelle Hamley, a writer, theologian and speaker, Isabelle is currently working as Theological adviser to the House of Bishops. She has a French accent.

Coming soon, Rev Shuna Dicks of Cults Parish Church in Aberdeen, narrating Corinthians, book one and two

Burns Supper 2024 – A huge success

Our annual sell-out Burns Supper was a great success this year.

A four-course feast was prepared by the hospitality team and our sincere thanks go to them. The attention to detail on the tables was beautiful, the food prepared and served piping hot would have been applauded in any restaurant and the lightness of the meringues for pud was just perfect. And there was even home made tablet with the coffee – the perfect finish to an outstanding meal. All on the team were grateful that there was a new dishwasher but somehow Anna still found herself in the sink for some hours!

Before and after the meal, our Singers (led by John) entertained us with traditional songs and then the Highland Dancers from Manor School of Dance took to the stage to the delight of everyone present. They were a joy to watch and made good use of a stage that has been graced by generations past and present across the Church and community.

But you know, more than anything, it was the delight that we found in each others’ company on the evening that made it just so special. Friends old and new.

What’s Happening in and around the Church

Friendship Groups

Lunch Club: Wednesdays at 12.30pm in Craigsbank Chancel Hall – fortnightly. A hot bowl of soup and a generous serving of friendship.

Fellowship Group: Thursdays at 2.30pm at the East Craigs Church Centre – fortnightly

Network: Monday evenings, fortnightly, for evenings of conversation and informative talks – 5 February, ‘Life after Westminster’ – John Barrett and 19 February, ‘Ronald McDonald House’ – Julia Coley

Moving forward: Support group for widowed men: Wednesdays at 10.30am at the Corstorphine Community Centre

Winter Wednesdays: A warm welcome for an hour of peace and quite beautiful music-by-candlelight. This is an opportunity for quiet contemplation in the warm surroundings of Craigsbank Sanctuary. Our last Winter Wednesday of the season is scheduled for 21 February at 7.30pm in the Craigsbank Sanctuary.

Toddle Tots: for parents, grandparents and carers with their toddlers and babies Wednesdays 10.30am in the Craigsbank Hall

Corstorphine Dementia Group: The Jubilee Club meet daily (Mon – Fri) in the Hall behind Carricknowe Church and the ‘Teatime Club’ meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month in St Thomas’s Hall. This Club is for members and their carers.

Toastie Thursdays

Our weekly ‘Toastie Thursdays’ lunch-gathering for Craigmount High pupils is hosted in the Craigsbank hall. The goal is to offer Christian hospitality to the children in the parish high school. The catchphrase for the Toastie Thursdays is ‘The best welcome of the week’. At the moment we host about 300 pupils every Thursday. This is a collaborative partnership between our congregation and the Corstorphine Old Parish.

Making Music!

The Singers: weekly practice in the Craigsbank sanctuary on Thursdays from 6.45pm ­– 8.00pm

Junior Music Makers for young children: Craigsbank sanctuary weekly on Thursdays from 5.30pm – 6.30pm, whilst the parents have a coffee and a blether in the Iona Room.

New members for both groups always welcome.

Eco Group – Our immediate environment and global events

Our Eco Group are pleased to be planting trees again on 7 Feb at 1.30pm at Craigievar Park. All are welcome to give a hand. Remember your wellies and to dress appropriately for the weather on the day. Contact Anne Currie at for more information.

The team have been active on our behalf in other ways too:

Christmas 2023 – a joyful time

Over the Christmas period our church and church centre have been busy, noisy, welcoming and happy, contemplative places to be. In addition to the many indoor activities (which included concerts, candlelit evenings, carol services, gift services, School services, a Christian Aid lunch, a service of remembrance and our wonderful Messy Church and Junior Music Makers Nativity) the area surrounding East Craigs has been transformed through Bulb Planting. And our Eco Heroes have represented us at Parliament protests. All of this on top of our regular thought-provoking services.

Our musician and singers, hospitality group and Eco team have been particularly busy but none more so than our minister, Alan Childs. We are grateful to each and every one of them.