Advent Day 2: Special online service from Holy Land to mark St Andrew's Day

A minister based in the Holy Land is leading a special online service to mark St Andrew's Day.

Rev Dr John McCulloch helped bring together a programme of readings, music and thoughts from Israel and Palestine to commemorate the life of the Apostle who is Scotland's patron saint.

St Andrew's Scots Kirk
St Andrew's Scots Kirk in Jerusalem. Marc Falconer.

He is the minister of St Andrew's Scots Memorial Church in Jerusalem, which is in union with St Andrew's Tiberias.

The Society of Friends of St Andrew's, Jerusalem is the driving force behind the service and has ensured that a traditional element from Scotland has been woven into the format with an address by Very Rev Colin Sinclair.

The minister of Palmerston Place Church in Edinburgh was the Moderator of the General Assembly 2019-20.

The annual service has been produced in this format for the first time due to COVID-19 restrictions and was made possible thanks to the technical expertise of Marc Falconer, an elder at Inverurie West Parish Church in Aberdeenshire.

In January 1919, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland approved the construction of a Church in Jerusalem as a memorial to Scottish troops who lost their lives in the battle for Jerusalem in 1917, which until then had been under Ottoman rule.

Today it is a National Memorial "to Scots who gave their lives in the Holy Land and in the Middle East generally in the two World Wars but its main mission today is to work with partners across Israel Palestine for a just peace.


The Society of Friends of St Andrew's, Jerusalem, established in the 1950s, continues to strive to support the congregation in a variety of ways.

Included in its constitution is the requirement to hold an annual St Andrew's Day Service.

This year's ‘retiral collection' will go towards the invaluable work done by the joint advocacy initiative of the YMCA in East Jerusalem with the YWCA of Palestine.

Meanwhile, Rev Peter Sutton, minister of St Cuthbert's Parish Church in Edinburgh, will also be marking St Andrew's Day at 1pm.

He said: "We will be praying for the peace of Jerusalem in the beautiful Memorial Chapel which was the inspiration for the Kirk in Jerusalem."

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