The Wound and the Gift

The Episcopal Church of St John the Evangelist at Edinburgh’s West End is a mass of visual contradictions. The radical murals on the exterior belie a very different, entirely Anglican, interior where early-19th century opulence, rich colour and a massive suspended cross immediately impress the visitor, used perhaps more to either the austerity of Presbyterian architecture or the Gothic magnificence of European Catholic churches. That straddling of two traditions may have made St John’s the perfect setting for the launch of a biography of the Orcadian Catholic poet George Mackay Brown by the Church of Scotland Minister, Ron Ferguson, the whole event chaired by Richard Holloway, the Episcopal Church’s Bishop Emeritus of Edinburgh.

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