Things of interest in our Church



Interesting Features of our Church
We welcome you as a visitor to our church online. Enjoy this brief guide to interesting features in the building which was built in 1868.

This small window over the main door with the symbol of the Burning Bush and the motto "Nec tamen consumebatur" ("And yet it was not consumed" - the motto of the Church of Scotland, taken from the story of Moses and the Burning Bush in the book of Exodus) was installed at the same time as the memorial windows in the balcony (1954).    

In the vestibule area, there are three memorials to people who played a significant role in the history of Abbey : One memorial (to the left) is to the Rev. William Calvert, minister at the time of the building of the church and the manse and a driving force behind these. The Latin inscription reads "If you seek his monument, look about you".


Rev. William Calvert
Memorial Tablet



To the right is a memorial with a grateful, loving inscription to the Rev. George Brown, 1807-1843, the longest serving minister of this congregation. A third memorial, (also to the right) is to Benjamin Hall Blyth, a noted Edinburgh civil engineer. His significant gift persuaded the Board of Managers to take the decision to build the new church, replacing the previous building in Westgate.

Benjamin Hall Blyth Memorial

Revd. George Brown Memorial


On the stairs
Halfway up the stairs to the balcony, on both sides, are memorial windows dedicated to members of the Whitecross family. Mr. Peter Whitecross was the oldest member of the congregation when he laid the foundation stone on 13th January 1868.

Whitecross Windows


Within the Church
To the left  once you are through the inner doors there is a plaque on the back wall in remembrance of those members of Abbey who lost their lives in the First World War.

The large tri-part, traceried window behind the pulpit was presented by the Dall family, in memory of Mr. James Dall, who was connected with the church for 60 years.

On either side of the pulpit you see two circular cusped windows presented by members of the congregation: that to the right, by Mr. John Whitecross, in memory of his father, Peter, and to the left, by Mr. John Fraser, the Preses, in memory of Miss Fraser who was responsible for the building of the Fisherman's Hall (The building beside the Yacht Club. It is now a private residence.)

Beneath this window is a brass plaque which remembers those who lost their lives in the 2nd World War. This plaque was an inscription on an older communion table and was placed here when the church was redecorated in 2002.

The communion table came from Lothian Road Church, Edinburgh, hence the dedication on the brass plate. It was brought to Abbey by the Rev. James Lees when he was called to the charge in 1975. He had been the last minister of Lothian Road Church prior to its closure.

To the left the unusual window of doves on the West Wall was designed by Sax Shaw (1916-2000), noted for his stained glass work and other artistic achievements, in memory of the Rev. John Robertson, minister from 1886-1903, and his niece, Ada. It was installed in 1973 and was designed for easy removal if the need ever arose.

Turn now so that your back is to the pulpit. In 1954, the windows in the south wall of the church at the back of the balcony, were dedicated to the Rev. Robert Small, minister from 1903-1937. He was the father of Rev. Leonard Small, a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. 

In the smallest windows are a wheatsheaf and a bunch of grapes, representing the bread of life and the wine of Communion. Next, on the left is the ship of the Church, set in an anchor of hope, and on the right is the Lamb of God holding the pennant, the symbol of victory. Finally, in the middle are the Cross and the Crown of the Covenant, which are central to our Christian Faith. These windows can be seen in greater detail from the Balcony, and also from outside on the High Street.

The Scovell Pipe Organ was installed in 1912 and was in use until 1976, when a Livingston Electronic Organ was installed. The plaque of dedication is on the north wall of the church near the organ. This has since been replaced by an Allen Electronic Organ installed in 1993 as part of the 125th Anniversary of the church.