Sacred Heart, Edinburgh
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Sacred Heart, Edinburgh

Sacred Heart Church
Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Edinburgh
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Lauriston Street - - 1749669.jpg
Entrance of the church on Lauriston Street
Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Church
Sacred Heart Church
Edinburgh City Centre
Coordinates: 55°56?43?N 3°12?05?W / 55.945166°N 3.201296°W / 55.945166; -3.201296
OS grid referenceNT2498173105
LocationEdinburgh, Scotland
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationRoman Catholic
Founded31 July 1859 (1859-07-31)
Founder(s)Bishop James Gillis
DedicationSacred Heart of Jesus
Consecrated8 July 1860
Functional statusParish church
Heritage designationCategory A[1]
Designated14 December 1970
Architect(s)Richard Vaughan SJ
DeaneryCity of Edinburgh[2]
ArchdioceseSt Andrews and Edinburgh
ProvinceSt Andrews and Edinburgh
ArchbishopLeo Cushley
Priest(s)Fr. William Pearsall SJ

Sacred Heart, Edinburgh, formally known as the Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is a Roman Catholic church run by the Society of Jesus, close to the city centre of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. It is situated in Lauriston, midway between the Grassmarket and Tollcross, on the edge of Edinburgh's historic Old Town. The church building was opened in 1860 and is a category A listed building.[1]



The church had its beginnings when Bishop James Gillis, Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District invited the Society of Jesus to come to Edinburgh and set up a parish close to the city centre. The architect of the church was a Jesuit priest, Fr. Richard Vaughan SJ, who was also uncle of Bernard Vaughan, a notable Jesuit preacher and writer.

Initially, while the church was being built, Mass was celebrated in a temporary chapel on Hunter's Close in the Grassmarket part of the city. The first Mass was on 31 July 1859 by Albany James Christie SJ. The first Mass in the newly constructed Sacred Heart Church was celebrated on 8 July 1860: Bishop Gillis preached at the Mass and the celebrant was the then Jesuit provincial, a Fr. Thomas Seed SJ.[3]

Twentieth Century

Over the years, the church was restored and renovated on numerous occasions. In 1907, the organ was installed and was modified in 1963 and 1974. In 1957, a mural was painted in the church above the altar. It was designed by Derek Clarke, a lecturer at the Edinburgh School of Art. From 1963 to 1990 there alterations made to make the church more compatible with the requirements of the post-Vatican II era, and the mural was covered over with wallpaper.[4] There were renovations made with the structural trusses being reinforced in 1996 and north facing wall restored in 1998.[5]


The Jesuits are resident next door to the church and are involved with the chaplaincy to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.[6] The parish celebrates Mass every day of the week as well hosts saying the Rosary every weekday lunch time. In addition, the parish works with the nearby Little Sisters of the Poor care home in Gilmore Place.[7]

From 2017 the parishes in Edinburgh were organised into clusters to better coordinate their resources. Sacred Heart is one of four parishes in Cluster 4 along with St Columba's, St Peter's and St Mark's.[8]

Lauriston Centre

Next door to the church is the Lauriston Jesuit Centre. It is designed to be a place for the Edinburgh Jesuit Community to present issues of spirituality, social justice and adult faith formation to the city of Edinburgh and the surrounding area. It hosts talks on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola and modern day Jesuit writers and theologians.[9]Prominent speakers have been featured on topics such as Christian Muslim relations[10] and the Centre has been awarded for its efforts to advance the ecological agenda through a series of talks and events.[11][12]

See also


  1. ^ a b Historic Environment Scotland. "28 Lauriston Street, Sacred Heart Church...  (Category A) (LB27266)". Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh Deaneries
  3. ^ Sacred Heart Edinburgh Brief History
  4. ^ Pauline McLean, Huge mural hidden in The Sacred Heart church in Edinburgh from BBC News, 11 January 2013, retrieved 20 June 2016
  5. ^ Sacred Heart Edinburgh History of the Building
  6. ^ Lauriston Centre on the Parish
  7. ^ Sacred Heart Services
  8. ^ "Parish clusters" (PDF). Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ Lauriston Centre description
  10. ^ "Edinburgh | Jesuits in Britain". Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church and the Lauriston Jesuit Centre in Edinburgh gained awards!". Eco-Congregation Scotland. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ "Edinburgh parish and church centre win eco-awards | ICN". Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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