St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh (Roman Catholic)

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St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral (of the Assumption)
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral Edinburgh.jpg
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral is located in Edinburgh city centre
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral
St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral
Shown within Edinburgh
Coordinates: 55°57′22″N 3°11′16″W / 55.9561°N 3.1877°W / 55.9561; -3.1877
LocationEdinburgh, Midlothian
DenominationRoman Catholic
Former name(s)St Mary's Chapel (1814)
StatusMetropolitan Cathedral (of the Province of St Andrews and Edinburgh)
Heritage designationListed B
Architect(s)James Gillespie Graham 1813-14; Reginald Fairlie War Memorial, High Altar 1921; Baldachino 1927; Augustus Welby Pugin - design
Years built1814
ArchdioceseSt Andrews and Edinburgh
ProvinceSt Andrews and Edinburgh
ArchbishopLeo Cushley
Director of musicMichael Ferguson
Organist(s)Simon Leach

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is a Roman Catholic church located in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh and the mother church of Scots Catholicism.[1]


The Chapel of St Mary's was opened in 1814, and was originally designed by James Gillespie Graham. The church was considerably embellished over the years, and in 1878 on the restoration of the Scottish hierarchy it became the pro-cathedral of the new Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. It was renamed the Metropolitan Cathedral on 5 July 1886 with all the rights and privileges appertaining to such a Church. It contains the National Shrine of St. Andrew.[2]

The cathedral has been enlarged, rebuilt and remodelled many times over the years, with the last major structural changes commencing in the 1970s. Pope John Paul II visited St Mary's in May 1982 as part of his pastoral visit to Scotland.

Concerts and recitals were held in the building during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe each August, from 2009 to 2016.[3]

Current clergy[edit]

  • Mgr Patrick Burke, VG (administrator); Fr Nick Welsh
  • Fr Tadeusz Puton SAC (non-resident), Chaplain of the Polish Mission[4]

Cafe Camino[edit]

The cathedral formerly operated a cafe in an adjoining building. It was used as a venue as part of the Free Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.[5]

Architectural notes[edit]

  • Architect: James Gillespie Graham 1813-14
  • Reginald Fairlie - war memorial, high altar 1921
  • Baldachino 1927
  • Augustus Welby Pugin (design)
  • Became a pro-cathedral in 1878 and a cathedral in 1886
  • Books and References Edinburgh: St Mary's Cathedral 1814-1989 ([1989])
  • NT27SE 497.00 25930 74320
  • NT27SE 497.01 25895 74293 St Andrew's Hall

Parish Organisation[edit]

From 2017 the many parishes in Edinburgh have been organised into clusters to better coordinate their resources. St. Mary's Cathedral is one of four parishes in Cluster 1 along with Ss Ninian and Triduana, St Patrick and St. Albert.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh". Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  2. ^ "National Shrine of St. Andrew". St Mary's RC Cathedral. Archived from the original on 11 August 2013.
  3. ^ "St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral". Edinburgh Guide. Retrieved 23 Mar 2016.
  4. ^ "Polska Misja Katolicka w Szkocji" (in Polish). Retrieved 2012-06-21.
  5. ^ "Cafe Camino". Edinburgh Guide. Retrieved 22 Mar 2016.
  6. ^ "Parish clusters" (PDF). Retrieved 26 October 2017.

External links[edit]