Our Approach

We believe that the journey of faith often takes us to places of uncertainty and therefore to ever-increasing humility. Increasingly, we appreciate ambiguity over certitude as fertile ground for real and lasting faith. We are equally sceptical of easy or superficial answers to the complex questions of life. Admittedly, we are generally not very tolerant of elitism, bigotry, hierarchy, or indifference to injustice and suffering.

We value honesty, integrity and reason as we make our way together in the journey in faith. And we are inspired by other faith traditions which enlarge our own understanding. We are grateful for our identity as a progressive Christian community and for our imaginative and sustaining relationship with our close neighbours and ecumenical partners, Greyfriars Kirk and Augustine United Reformed Church.

At St. Columba’s by the Castle, we are influenced by the ancient and the new. Over and over again, we find ourselves returning to Jesus and his spiritual forebears.  We draw strength, comfort and challenge from Jesus and others who have walked the earth and found holy ground where they have walked.  Much of what we do is based on ancient patterns expressed in a variety of ways:

In our worship

In our instinct for justice and peace

In our active intellectual curiosity that seeks connection between mind and spirit.

In our striving to serve the forgotten, the outcast, the lonely, the hurting

In an ancient faith, always being made new as we actively engage in the culture of our time and in the needs and realities of the present

In all that we do, we follow the Scottish Episcopal Church’s guidelines for Safeguarding.

Response to Anglican Primates

On behalf of St. Columba’s by the Castle, the Vestry wishes to register its disappointment at the hurt the recent communiqué of Anglican Primates has caused to LGBTI people. We believe that God affirms all regardless of gender and sexual orientation, and are opposed to legislation that discriminates in any way against LGBTI people. We support and affirm the statement by a neighbouring Scottish Episcopal church, St. John’s.

Raising the human questions

“The church in a quite special way is the place where large dreams are entertained, songs are sung, boundaries are crossed, hurt is noticed, and the weak are honoured. The church has no monopoly on these matters. Its oddity, however, is that it takes this agenda as its peculiar and primary business. In all sorts of unnoticed places, it is the church that raises the human questions.”

Walter Brueggemann