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welcome to St Giles and St Columbas South Website ST GILES & ST COLUMBA’S SOUTH

Our Church


The church has a Kirk Session and a Congregational Board with 72 active elders of which 33 are male and 39 female. The Congregational Board has 8 members of which there are 1 male and 7 female members. All elders are also members of the Board. Each district is served by an elder. During the last year we have ordained 5 new elders with all our districts at present having an elder. The role at present is around 1100. During the year ending 31st December 2009 there were admitted 6, Baptisms 7, weddings 20 and funerals 100 of which only 29 were members. We have a large number of young folk of 19 and under in the various organisations but mainly in the St. Giles' Theatre Group.

The congregation is enthusiastic and lively and is made up of a variety of strands – those with local roots and many new members who have moved into the area.


Sunday Services

10.30 am in St. Giles's Church / St. Columba's South Church, Elgin

(Services alternate between Churches monthly)

Crèche facilities are available at these services.

Midweek Worship

In St. Giles' Church on Wednesday at 6.30 pm.

Lunchtime Worship

In St. Giles' Church on Thursday at 1.00 pm.

All Age Worship

At 10.30 am on the 2nd Sunday of each month.


Takes place quarterly in March, June, September and December.

Monthly services at Andersons Residential Care Home and Chandlers Court


Sunday School and Bible Class

Children aged 3-13 meet in St Giles' Church or Church Hall where the leader will greet them. They attend the first part of the church service, then adjourn to the New Room in St Giles' Church or Church Hall.

The time that the Sunday School and Bible Classes finishes is to encourage the parents attending the service to have a cup of tea or coffee after the service.


Monday Guild meetings are held fortnightly at 7.30 pm in the Guild Room of the Church Hall.

Wednesday Guild meetings are held fortnightly at 2.15 pm in the Guild Room of the Church Hall.

The session usually runs from September to March. New members are welcome to join at any time during the session.

Women's Group

Women's Group is a social gathering of Christian women with guest speakers or outings. They meet at 8 pm on the first Wednesday of each month between September and June in the Youth Room of the Church Hall.

Men's Association

This is an association of retired men which was founded about 1990 and is still very much alive and well. The meetings are held in the Church Hall on the first and third Wednesday between October and April. Anyone who is interested can be assured of a warm welcome, and this is open to all, not just church members.

There is a regular attendance of about 25 men. They commence about 10.15 am to firstly enjoy a cup of tea/coffee, biscuits and a chat, before the speaker commences his/her address, which usually lasts for an hour or thereabouts after which there is a question and answer session.


There are two groups which meet in the church hall every Wednesday – September to April from 2-4 pm and 7.30 – 9.30pm. Open to all ages, it is purely for exercise and fellowship.


The Bowling Club meets every Tuesday in the Church Hall from 1.30 pm and play begins at 2 pm. The hall is always warm and welcoming. We play on 2 carpets until 3 pm when we stop and have a cup of tea and a chat.


The fundraising group was set up in 2000 and since then a variety of fundraising events have taken place. These included flower festivals to celebrate royal occasions and the centenary of St. Columba's South Church when a collection of wedding dresses throughout the ages was displayed. Fashion shows have been held by local businesses. During a visit by the Shallowford Choir from the USA the church held an Art, Flower and Drama weekend, the Flowers by the church ladies, Art by Elgin High School, Music and Drama by Elgin Academy and a very moving performance by the choir from the USA.

The group regularly holds coffee mornings, soup and crusty bread lunches, also teas and pancakes on Marafun days. All money raised goes to Church Funds but they also provide a time for members of the congregation and friends to meet and catch up with one another. These functions are held in the Church Hall, St. Giles' Church and St. Columba's South Church.


Interior of St. Giles' Church

Interior of St. Columba's South Church

Located in the centre of Elgin High Street, St Giles' Church sits at the heart of the community. The present church was built in 1828, replacing the former Muckle Kirk of St Giles'. Designed by Archibald Simpson of Aberdeen, St Giles' Church is a bold classical structure of generous proportions.

The interior has undergone several modifications to meet the ever-changing needs of modern worship, most recent being the replacement of pews by individual chairs.

St Giles' Church is a building which the Congregational Board feels could play a wider role in community life in years ahead.

In 1897, a suite of Halls was built in Greyfriars Street and that facility serves the church to the present day. However they are in the final stages of being sold and replaced with new halls /offices due to be completed by October 2011 which have been funded from existing resources.

St Columba's South Church in Moss Street was built in 1906 to meet the expanding needs of the congregation of St Giles'. The result of an architectural competition, St Columba's Church, as it was then known, was designed in 12th century Norman style, with plain bare stonework, heavy columns and half circular arches, all much to the distaste of many of the congregation at the time. However, the church is simple, dignified and pleasing to the eye, providing a worship experience very different from that of St Giles'.

The closure of Elgin South Church circa 2000, brought together that congregation with St Giles' in what has been a harmonious marriage and one recognized by the addition of the word "South" resulting in the present name of St Columba's South.

Both churches have been well maintained, St Columba's South requiring much less attention than the more ornate structure of St Giles'.

New hall at St. Columba's South Church


The St. Giles' Organ, originally built by Father Henry Willis, is the largest 3 manual pipe organ in the North of Scotland. It was moved to the gallery in 1979 and rebuilt with additions by Wood Wordsworth and A.F. Edmonstone. There is an experienced choir of about 12. At present there is a praise band which plays at the monthly all age worship service.

The St. Columba's South organ is a large 2 manual pipe organ rebuilt in 1989 using pipes from the old organ and from a Harris organ formerly in a church in Perth. There is a small choir.

Organ in St. Giles' Church

Organ in St. Columba's South Church


St. Giles' Theatre Group

Started in 1987 by the Minister and Kirk Session as an outreach to the youth of all churches (all denominations) and also the community. No one has ever been turned away from the group. The group has never been concerned with making money, some productions clear their costs, others have resulted in considerable profit. It was decided at the outset that any profits after production costs would go to Christian Aid and other local charities. The group has made donations of around £50,000 over the years. They are indebted to literally hundreds of people in the Church and community for being supportive of their efforts. Many of our young people go on to careers in the theatre.

Youth Café

As an outreach project the congregation continues to support Elgin Youth Café. Several of our elders and other members play a major part as volunteers in the organisation and running of the café, and this year some of the young people from the café have assisted at some of our congregational fundraising events.

Exterior of Café

Café Interior

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Ministry and Staffing

We are looking for

A minister with life experience who is an open and friendly person. He/She would be our Parish Minister interested in all parts of work of the church and its organisations, caring for and visiting members and parishioners including conducting funerals.

A Team Leader and Team Player.

A minister willing to conduct weddings in the community as well as in the Church.

A minister with a vision for the future.

A minister whose doctrine is compatible with the traditions of this congregation.

Our Associate Minister has been called to the Scots Kirk in Paris. All posts within the Presbytery Plan are currently being reviewed. We also have a Deacon (until October 2012), Auxilliary Minister and the following paid staff: 1 Part time Church Secretary, 2 Organists, 1 Deputy Organist and 1 Church Officer and a Caretaker.

Mission Statement

Relying upon the promised guidance of the Holy Spirit, we, as a congregation are committed to



Deepen our own understanding of our Christian faith, and share this with others,

Support the work of the church through out time, talents and wealth,

Look upon others as lovingly as God looks upon us.

The Manse

Front view of the Manse

Manse rear view

The manse of the Parish is at 18 Reidhaven Street, Elgin and is one of a number of substantial stone-built houses constructed along the west side of the street in the late 1800s.

On the ground floor are 2 public rooms, a large family room, kitchen/dining room and utility room. A few steps lead down from the Hall to a generous sized toilet and wash hand basin.

On the upper floor are 3 double bedrooms and one single bedroom. A new toilet, wash hand basin and modern shower bathroom has been created.

The house has been extensively redecorated this year.

New PVC double glazing has been fitted throughout and the house is heated by a new gas fired boiler. The loft insulation has also been upgraded.

There is a small garden to the front and a generous garden (half lawn and half mature fruit trees) at the rear. A driveway leads into a 3 car carport at the side of the property.

A further property is provided at 2 Hay Place, Elgin, which was occupied until recently by the Associate Minister. It is a compact 2 storey, 3 bedroom house, built about 25 years ago, in a fairly small site with good access.


The appropriate stipend plus travelling and listed expenses are paid.

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Business Matters


The Church is governed under the amended Model Deed of Constitution for Parishes Quod Sacra 1965 (usually known as the Model Constitution).


The church magazine is published 9 times a year and is either hand delivered or posted to all members of the congregation.

A weekly Order of Service sheet is distributed at Morning Worship, and also contains information of forthcoming events and matters of interest.


The last independently examined accounts for the year to November 2009 confirm that St Giles' and St Columba's South Church is in a very sound financial position through a combination of substantial invested funds plus considerable bank deposits.

In 2009 the church undertook a Stewardship Campaign which was very successful and resulted in increased regular congregational givings. A large number of members contribute by standing order or through freewill offering envelopes the vast majority of which are gift aided.

Our finances are managed by a finance convenor and a committee of 12 including the church treasurer who report regularly to the board and keep the wider congregation fully informed through the church magazine.

A financial budget is prepared each year and approved by the board and which has indicated for this year that the accounts will produce a surplus on our general account.