The Fisher of Men - St Andrew to be celebrated at Storytelling Centre

A special event to celebrate the life and times of Scotland’s Patron Saint is being held in Edinburgh later this month.

Fisherman’s Feast, Sailor’s Rest’ is on at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on St Andrew’s Day – the annual event in honour of his memory.

It will bring the Galilean fisherman’s story of strength and sociability to life, accompanied by a sumptuous supper of fish and chips.

St Andrew
A statue of St Andrew in St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Витольд Муратов

The story of St Andrew, who was Jesus’s first disciple and crucified on a diagonal cross, will be recited by storyteller and author Donald Smith.

He said: “Andrew’s story is one of persecution and exile.

“But throughout he is a bridge builder, making friends and connections wherever he goes, even as a refugee.

“That makes him the patron saint of welcome and hospitality, especially in troubled times.”


St Andrew has been celebrated in Scotland for more than 1,000 years but it wasn’t until 1320 that he officially became Scotland’s patron saint.

One of the 12 Apostles and described by Jesus as a fisher of men, Scotland’s national flag is named after him and the town of St Andrews in Fife claims to be his final resting place.

The Scottish Storytelling Centre is part of the Church of Scotland.

Fisherman’s Feast, Sailor’s Rest, which starts at the Royal Mile venue at 7pm, will embrace music, song, poetry and story with contributions from Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Carlos Arredondo and John Hamilton, who are of Iranian, Chilean and Irish inheritance.

Mr Hamilton is the host of the event and will intersperse the evening with a selection of short stories exploring tales of the sea that link Ireland to Scotland, and both to the rest of the world.

Donald Smith
Storyteller and author Donald Smith regales the audience at the Storytelling Centre.

Ms Gill will share poems for her pamphlet ‘Pilgrim’ which will loosely follow the experiences of her father who left Tabriz in Iran as a young migrant for America.

“The poems consider loss of homeland, the work of assimilation, questions of belonging and how the places we are from never leave us,” she said.


Dr Alasdair Allan, Scotland's Minister for International Development and Europe, said: “Our patron saint, St Andrew was known for being sociable and for encouraging people to share and is possibly one of the world’s best known fisherman.

“Celebrating St Andrew’s Day is a great way for Scots to keep the spirit of St Andrew alive, by coming together and sharing in something special.

“The Fisherman’s Feast at the Scottish Storytelling Centre is the perfect opportunity for communities to come together and share in traditional music and stories whilst savouring one of Scotland’s most loved dishes.

“It is a fantastic way for guests to enjoy our rich Scottish Culture while marking Scotland’s special day.”