News Release

Edinburgh School Rescues Local Church

In his poem ‘To A Mouse’,  Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet declared, “the best - laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley” meaning the best laid plans often go wrong. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Edinburgh discovered that sentiment when a fire broke out in their building recently.  Fire damage to the interior of the church resulted in the building being closed down. The closure of the building presented an immediate problem for Church leaders as a Regional Youth Day was being held in the building in two days’ time.


The possibilities of locating a suitable venue for the annual youth event were discussed. The Edinburgh Steiner School, a well-known and respected institution of education is situated across the road from the LDS church on Spylaw Road and the school was approached for help.

The response from the Steiner School management team was overwhelming.  Staff were sympathetic to the Church’s plight. They checked their schedules to see if space could be given in the school for the youth event to go ahead as originally planned. When it was disclosed that yes,  the school could be used for their event, it was a major relief to the Church leaders and to the youth especially with the school’s response, “You are our neighbours and you are in need. We won’t ask you to pay for anything. We are just glad to help you in your time of need.”

Church youth travelled from Thurso, Oban and Orkney as well as other towns and cities in Scotland for this all day event.  Eager to learn new skills, the youth had access to vinyl printing technology and printed their own T-shirts. During the day they worked on two service projects. The Edinburgh Refugee Council helped Church leaders put together an extremely valuable service project for the refugee families in Calais. The youth then assembled 1,000 bags of assorted spices for use in cooking their meals. The spices will enhance their cooking and make their meals more palatable. One cannot put a price on the pleasure that those bags of spices will bring to the adults and children as they eat their meals in the refugee camp in Calais.

The second service project was organised by Andrew Coltart, a member of the Livingston ward. Under his guidance, the youth put together 10,000 poppies to be used for Remembrance Day activities and ceremonies.

One of the other memorable activities was the walk up to Arthur’s Seat, a popular and well known landmark in Edinburgh.  Approximately 140 youth and various church leaders ,  all wearing their printed T-shirts, stood enjoying the views of the great city of Edinburgh and then proceeded to sing with one voice, a  hymn by John Rutter, “The Beauty of the Earth” Cole Bendall and Ben Shanks, both LDS members were instrumental in teaching the youth this hymn.

The closing activity on this memorable day was a ceilidh. The music was provided by the popular band, “Sporran Again.” Band members commented on the generosity of the Steiner School, “Sometimes God shows his hands in the service given by others.”

The youth benefitted greatly from the generosity of an Edinburgh school. In coming to the aid of the LDS church, the Steiner School opened the door of opportunity for the youth; to serve refugees through the gift of spice bags and also to serve the general public by making poppies. This is the memory that will be spoken of for years to come and with it will be a smile for a work well done.

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