ST ANDREW'S CHURCH (THE ENGLISH KIRK) - Harriet Tulloch
It must have been in about 1910 that a group of Episcopalians
met in the Prestonpans Town Hall to discuss the establishment
of an Episcopal Church here. The outcome was that a wooden building
was erected at the east end of the town and the First service
seems to have taken place on May 28th 191 I when twenty-five people
attended under the Rev Matthew Wilson. From then. a large number
of different celebrants appear in the records and most of them
must have been visiting preachers.
In time a better wooden church was erected at the cast end of
the High Street and the First dedication seems to have taken place
in 1914 as "The Church of the Holy Nativity. Prestonpans".
From that time the numbers attending services varied from as few
as two up to thirty-five or so. With such small numbers, the financial
burden was heavy and St. Peter's Musselburgh adopted the church
as a Mission and services were conducted by curates from there.
In 1952 a scheme was submitted to enclose the wooden church within
a shell of stone. There was very little money but the curatc-in-charge.
the Rev J D Lyford Pike was enthusiastic and the church was constructed
by members of the congregation themselves, and at their own expense,
in their own spare time. None of them had any real experience
of building and when it was done the V.dlnhur^h Evening News sent
an expert down to report and he staled that "The mortar has
run down the walls and the tower is eleven inches out of plumb............
and it looks magniOcent". And so it did! But this lean was
to become important later when a number of Consultants worried
about it. not knowing of the original history. Of more importance,
perhaps, was weakness of the roof which proved not up to the weight
of the very heavy roofing tiles which had been generously donated
by Messrs Cruden. Musselburgh. The work took a long time since
it was a spare-time activity but the building was completed and
re-dedicated on April 15th. 1956.
By 1958 it was considered that the church was healthy enough to
depart from its dependence upon St Peter's Musselburgh and an
independent parsonage should be built. A system-built "Doran"
house was erected in the church grounds by a method which one
day was to prove not altogether satisfactory. The first occupant
was the Rev R A Grant who had been largely responsible for promoting
the house building.
The church prospered for many years under a number of priests,
notably the Rev Chris Porteous who was even able to establish
an off-shoot congregation in a caravan at Tranent. In time. though,
in accordance with a trend which affected most churches, it was
found desirable to amalgamate once more with St Peter's Musselburgh
and so it operates to-day.
By 1992. difficulties with the somewhat sub-standard rectory and
with the structure of the church itself, had become sufficiently
worrying that. when the present building on West Loan became available
the congregation somewhat reluctantly abandoned the old buildings.
The Grange Church had combined with Preston Parish Church and
the Grange Church building had become the Parish Church Hall.
Now the combined churches were giving up their Church Hall and
St Andrew's was able to take it over.
In the last service of the old church the congregation paraded
to its new home with some sadness but with great hopes for the
St Andrew's Church when it was at
the east end of the High Street