Metropolitan Community Church of Edinburgh

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The Metropolitan Community Church Edinburgh (Holy Trinity Metropolitan Community Church) met as a congregation of Metropolitan Community Church from 1995 to 2009. The church has now ceased worshipping independently and has merged with Augustine United Church.

Metropolitan Community Church is a worldwide Christian denomination founded in 1968 to have a special, affirming ministry with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

Foundation of Edinburgh Congregation[edit]

On 17 June 1995, the first ever Pride Scotland March and Festival was held in Edinburgh. Rev Jim McManus (then Pastoral Team member of MCC Newcastle and Rev Roy Beaney (then European District Coordinator) along with other MCC members visited Edinburgh and organised an MCC stall at the Pride Festival; the next day they held a small worship Service in the LGBT Centre in Broughton Street.

Using the contacts that were made at Pride, Rev McManus tried to get a group together of those interested. An article appeared in The Scotsman and Michelle Russell was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland. A meeting was arranged for Saturday 15 July in the LGBT Centre for those interested. A dozen or so attended and the decision was taken to form a congregation and the first worship service after deciding to become a congregation was Sunday 16 July (third Sunday in July), downstairs in the LGBT Centre.

A Worshipping Community[edit]

On 2 August 1995 (during Metropolitan Community Church General Conference in Atlanta), a small group of people met and decided to form an Interim Development Group, appoint Jim McManus as Pastor and to meet for worship on the third Sunday of every month.


After its initial formation, the congregation worshipped in the LGBT Centre, but soon found the room too small (October 1995). At the invitation of Rev Iain Whyte, Chaplain of the University of Edinburgh, they began to meet in the University Chaplaincy.

Two observers were sent to the European District Conference of the Metropolitan Community Church (November 1995), a sign of the church's continued growth. MCC Edinburgh continued to develop with the adoption of the Church's Constitution was adopted (17 November 1995); this established Holy Trinity Metropolitan Community Church, Edinburgh, as a parish extension of MCC Newcastle with Rev Jim McManus being elected pastor. The first church members were formally welcomed into membership in the spring (16 February 1996).

The congregation moved again, this time to the Quaker Meeting House due to the difficulty of booking the University Chaplaincy during holiday periods (1996) and began to meet twice each month.

With the church's first anniversary approaching, the congregation took part in the second Pride Scotia with its new banner through the streets of Glasgow (June 1996). Over the next few months there were many changes within the church as pastoral leaders and others moved away. However, the church coped well with these changes and continued to meet, with membership continuing to grow.

With the second annual congregational (April 1997) new leadership was put in place with the support of Rev Doreen Shambrook representing the European District of the MCC; this enabled the church to consolidate and continue to move forward.

After a development weekend (January 1998) at Scottish Churches House with the Rev. Kevin Dudman attending, the congregation agreed to begin holding weekly worship; that Lent the church held a mid-week group which worked its way through the "Believing" Group Course of the MCC and several new members were welcomed at that time.

The congregation met in Augustine United Church each Sunday at 18:00 until it merged with Augustine United Church in January 2010.

Media work and justice struggles[edit]

Over the 14 year history of the church considerable work with the media work has been undertaken; some highlights include:

Mr Bonner-Evans has appeared on Scottish TV and the BBC; the Congregation has appeared on BBC Radio Scotland several times over the years — generally on religious or news programmes — and on Scottish Television. A high profile piece in The Scotsman increased membership and Ian Bonner-Evans was interviewed in the Evening News at the height of the Section 28 debate.

The Church has been active in many social justice struggles including the campaign to repeal Section 28, the campaign for same-sex marriage and Make Poverty History; the Church gave oral evidence and lodged a Petition to the Scottish Parliament when legislation was being considered on civil partnerships in the United Kingdom. The Church was seeking the right to constitute civil partnerships in a religious context, though it was unsuccessful at this time.

In 2001, at the Metropolitan Community Church General Conference in Toronto, Rev. Troy Perry awarded MCC Edinburgh the Founders Award for their work on social justice issues.

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Coordinates: 55°56′51″N 3°11′28″W / 55.94750°N 3.19111°W / 55.94750; -3.19111