The History of Leith

March 12, 2012


We have many reminders that the Church is called
upon to exercise her activities over a wide field. There
has never been a time in her history when the interests
occupying her attention have been so varied or so widespread.
There is therefore an increasing need for the
base being kept strong.
Since the days of the Church extension movement
in the early part of last century, the hour has never
arrived when the Church could rest and say that she had
accomplished all that requires to be done. The industrial
development of the country, between 1820 and no\\,
has been phenomenal, and still the changes that are
going on create fresh needs to be met and new problems
to be solved. Our towns grow apace, calling for extended
agencies to keep the people in touch with
Christian ordinances. In many country districts the
same needs arise. In Stirlingshire, e.g., in Fife and
the Lothians, new coal fields are being developed ; consequently new settlements are springing up.
The experience of the past has been that, if the population
in one of these new centres is left even for a few
years without a Church or without a Minister to work
among them, habits of carelessness are acquired which
are difficult to eradicate. Profiting by the experience
she has acquired, the Church of Scotland, through her
Home Mission, tries to be upon the spot early, so that
the people may be kept surrounded by their traditional
Christian atmosphere.
The very presence of a Church, sometimes even the
ringing of the Church bell, reminds people that they
need more than food and raiment.
It is admitted that the providing for these new needs
ought not to fall entirely upon the particular districts
where they exist; for the needs of a new community are
most urgent at the time when its resources are weakest.
But, while this is admitted, the response of the Church
as a whole does not show that the responsibility is

source-South Leith Church

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