Humble origins

As Martyn McLaughlin says, “It is the cradle of Presbyterianism” (“Facelift for St Giles’ carves out a new controversy”, 15 July).

He might have added that, unlike the former medieval 
cathedrals in Glasgow, Dunkeld, Dunblane, etc, St Giles’ was
originally merely a parish church, the “hie kirk” of
Old Edinburgh, and only briefly became a cathedral in the 17th century when an Episcopalian form of government was 
forced on a reluctant Church of Scotland.

Not the Kirk’s finest hour, surely? Remember Jenny Geddes and her stool?

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So I wonder why the clergy and congregation of St Giles’ 
are so keen on the spurious designation of “cathedral” that they actually want to carve the phrase “St Giles’ Cathedral” in stone by the west door.

I suspect a typical Edinburgh combination of snobbery and pretentiousness.

Harry D Watson

Braehead Grove

Edinburgh