The History of Leith

March 3, 2013

Leith, Kirkgate Associate (antiburgher later burgher) session, afterwards United Presbyterian, United Free and C. of S. united with South Leith in 1973

The congregation of Leith Kirkgate (Antiburgher) Church was formed by decision of the Presbytery of Edinburgh on 1 January 1766, following a dispute within the Parish Church of South Leith over the appointment of William Aitken to the charge. The congregation worshipped in a meeting house in Cables Wynd until 1775 when a new church was built in Kirkgate and John Proudfoot, the first minister of Leith Kirkgate Antiburgher Church, was ordained in 1772. In 1785 John Proudfoot was suspended by the Synod and then deposed, and this action caused a divide within the congregation with some members choosing to return to South Leith, although the majority remained with Proudfoot in the Kirkgate building. In September 1787 John Proudfoot died and the remaining Kirkgate congregation consequently petitioned the Burgher Presbytery requesting that they be provided with sermon. The request was granted and from this time the charge became Leith Kirkgate Burgher Session. The Kirkgate church was later rebuilt in 1792 and in 1886 a new church was opened in Henderson Street, the old building was sold as a music hall but was destroyed by fire in 1888. In 1848 the congregation became part of the United Presbyterian Church. Following the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Church of Scotland in 1900, Leith Kirkgate U.P. became Leith Kirkgate United Free Church and upon the 1929 union between the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church of Scotland, Leith Kirkgate U.F. became Leith Kirkgate Church of Scotland. In 1973 a union was established with the charge of Leith South under the name of Leith South Church of Scotland. The congregation of Leith South Church of Scotland remains active today under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery of Edinburgh. for more click here

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