Founded as a Collegiate Church in 1380, and taking over one hundred years to build, St Mary’s Parish Church was largely ruined during the mid-sixteenth century Siege of Haddington. It is the longest church in Scotland and is in the early Gothic style. The Town Council repaired the Church in 1561 'frae steeple to the west end' and in the 1970s, with much fundraising and sponsorships, the full restoration of the church was finally completed.
One of St Mary’s unique features is the Lauderdale Aisle which was once the sacristy of St Mary’s. It was given to the Maitlands of Lethington as their burial aisle following the Reformation of 1560 and contains the magnificent marble effigies of John, 2nd Lord Maitland and Lord Chancellor to King James VI, who was interred with his wife in 1624. It is one of the best surviving 1600s memorials in Scotland.
The Lauderdale was restored in the 1970s by Patrick Maitland, the 17th Earl of Lauderdale, and in 1978 it was re-consecrated as a chapel dedicated to The Virgin Mary, the Christ Child and the Three Kings at an ecumenical service, never before seen in Scotland, by Bishop Alastair Haggart, Episcopalian Bishop of Edinburgh, Dr Roy Sanderson, former Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Polish Orthodox priest in Edinburgh and the Catholic Abbot of Nunraw.
In the afternoon we will hear from the late Lord Lauderdale about how the inspiration for the re-dedication came from an Anglican priest in Norfolk and a Free Church minister in Caithness in an interview recorded with him in 1998.
Programme - Saturday 8th September
10.45am - Meet in St Mary’s Catholic Church, Haddington
11am - Tour of St Mary’s Parish Church of Scotland
12 noon - Mass (Ordinariate Use) in the Lauderdale Aisle
1pm - Lunch - in the Maitlandfield House Hotel (pre-book with Fr Len)
2.30pm - In the Lauderdale Aisle - with the 17th Earl of Lauderdale
3.30pm - Evensong and Benediction