St Peter’s Lutton Place
An historical note
The congregation of St Peter’s began in 1791 as an “overflow” from Old St Paul’s in Carrubber’s Close. It was established as a chapel in the modified lower floor of a tenement, suitably modified, in Roxburgh Place, but 1807 its numbers had grown to the extent that it broke away and became a congregation in its own right.
It continued in Roxburgh Place for the next fifty years by which time Edinburgh had expanded southwards and it was decided “to erect a church more convenient in locality … and more becoming in its style and appearance to what is due to a house dedicated to the worship and service of God.”
Accordingly, the promoters of St Peter’s Chapel New Building Scheme proceeded from 1855 onward to get under way money raising, acquiring a site, appointing an architect, and approving the plans. The site chosen was at the south-eastern extreme of Lutton Place which was then almost completely surrounded by fields. It was to consist of nave, chancel, and rudimentary south aisle forming a vestry with organ loft above next to the chancel, with a small porch at the entrance in the north west corner, to seat about 500 and to cost £2,000 or a little more.
The church was opened for worship on Whitsunday 1860. It had cost £3,115. This was not the end however. A wealthy member of the congregation wished the church and its appointments to be finished in the most lavish style and guaranteed the extra cost. The result was the present church with its baptistry, an elaborate pulpit, polished granite pillars, and carved choir stalls.
Unfortunately the guarantor went bankrupt; the resulting debt being over £10,000. The building would have had to have been sold had the Province not come to the rescue. The debt was finally cleared in 1889 and the church consecrated in January of that year.