Where to go Guide
St. Andrew's Scots Memorial Church - This stone church, completed in 1930, and therefore new by Jerusalem standards, is beautiful in its sober simplicity, flying the flag of Scotland from its square tower. The Church commemorates the lost lives of Scottish soldiers who fell in battle as the British and local Arab forces took Jerusalem from the remnants of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Just a short walk from the Old City walls, and nearest to Jaffa Gate, St. Andrew’s represents a cornerstone in the history of Palestine; the beginning of the British Mandate.
Literature from St. Andrews talks about the Church of Scotland, and emphasizes its differences from the Church of England: “The Queen is not the Head of the Church of Scotland – Jesus Christ is. And unlike the Church of England, the Church of Scotland is not subject to Parliament; and its absolute independence from the State is enshrined in law, so that civil courts have no jurisdiction over Church affairs.”
This bastion of independent Scottish spirit in the heart of Jerusalem lies just west of the Old City walls. St. Andrew’s has partnered with the Diocese of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, a largely Arab Church within the Anglican Communion. Proceeds from the Sunbula craft shop in St. Andrew’s go to help women’s and other self-help groups in Palestinian villages and refugee camps, where families suffer great economic hardship because of the political and social situation.
Inside the Church, along the back walls, along the front on the floor, and out in the vestibule, there are memorial plaques and tablets in honor of Scottish regiments, such as the 52nd Lowland Division, Seaforth Highlanders, and the Black Watch, and individual soldiers who served in the Middle East, mostly in Palestine. The apse is floored with marble from the island of Iona, home to the Celtic Saint Columba. To this day, St. Andrew’s welcomes Scots pilgrims from the four corners of the world.