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The Parish Today

St Mary Magdalene´s Parish - 1961 until 2011

In 2011 when Fr Hennessy retired on health grounds Father Tabone became Parish Priest. In 2013 when Monsignor Rae, Parish Priest of nearby St John the Evangelist Parish in Portobello, retired, also on health grounds, and Father Tabone retired and rerturned to his native Malta the two parishes came together to share a priest. Father Jock Dalrymple became the Parish Priest for this area.

St Mary Magdalene´s and St John´s became sister patishes Now with Father Jock as the only priest for the two parishes times of Masses have had to change. It was also not possible to have daily Mass in either church. In St Mary Magdalene's now there are only two weekdays Masses and these change from week to week. Easter and Christmas Services are also shared between the two but both parishes retain their individual identity while sharing and co-operating in many ways.

Mass times are shown on the home page

  St Mary Magdalenes

The blessing of the new community Defibrillator

Sited on the outside wall of St.Mary Magdalene"s Church is a new Defibrillator for both our parish and the Bingham Community A Defibrillator is an appliance which passes an elecrtric current through a heart in order to restore normal contractions to that heart after a heart attack. The cost of this was shared with our church, the Bingham people and St. John(Ambulance)Scotland and The Honesty Book.

Jennifer Morris, our Pastoral Assistant, reported in our newletter that, on Sunday Father Jock would bless our defibrillator and training sessions would follow. St John´s (Ambulance) Scotland were able to demonstrate how to use it. Light refreshments were provided. Many thanks to all those who contributed to the purchase of the defibrillator. More training sessions were planned and it was hoped that many more people would come forward to take part.

It was lovely that we all, parishioers and members of the Bingham Community learned how to use this appliance. St John´s Church Portobello (our sister parish) also had a new defibrillator too and this was installed in October.

There is a Bereavement Team for both parishes which consists of a group of parishioners who work quietly in the background providing bereavement care and assistance wherever the need arises.

One of these services is the 3-monthly Bereavement Mass celebrated in one of our churches.The most recent of these Massess was held in St. Mary Magdalene's church on Saturday 24th August 2019. It was a lovely, quiet, prayerful servive and followed the normal format of these masses.

Everyone was, of course , welcome and the names of the dedceased were read out during the service. While thes manes were read the congregation could go, one by one, to the front at the alttar and light a candle. There was no limit to the number of candles per person so candles could be lit for several members of the same family. Meantime hymns and music were played by the music group.

The mass was well attended and later, several people commented to me that it was the first Bereavemnt Mass they had attended and had found it very consoling and would certainly come in future. So our thanks to the Bereavement Team for your hard work. Your efforts are appreciated.

  St Mary Magdalenes
St Mary Magdalenes

Appeal from Portobello- for a Parish in Malawi (one of the top 10 poorest countries).In summer 2018 fund raising began and by December 2018 our two parishes have raised money to help to provide a Skills Centre for the orphanage STEKA in Malawi. A cheque for the sum of £5500 was presented to this cause. This represents about one half of the cost of creating one Skill Centre. Most of this money (£3,800) came from the joint fare. held in the summer. Fr. Jock has received the following "thank you" e-mail which he has asked me to share on the parish website. E-mail: Thank you from Malawi, https://vimeo.com/304327954

Interim Report. This last year June 2018 to June 2019 has been a year when we concentrated on fund raising for the Steka project. We were told that the cost of setting up a Skills Centre was £11,000 and that our target for the joint parishes, was to raise enough to supply 2 Centres - an ambitious project whick involved a geat deal of effort. Besides the proceeds from the Fare (see above)other events such as Quiz nights, Race ninghts, sponsored walks, sponsored diets and many many more such as little fund raising events such as coffee mornings brought in considerable funds and so the money accumulated. It was finally decided, in February 2019, that each parish was to donate 30% of its surplus funds at the end of the financilal year in April and that organised events were to continue until June 2019. In April (the end of the financial year) we donated £2730 as our share as agreed.

The exact final sum raised has not yet been announced but the latest figure in June was around £23,000. That was above the target and was a magnificent achievement The pleasure however was reduced when we were told that the cost of setting up a centre had risen by £2,000 per centre. That was a somewhat deflating piece of information. However fund raising had to stop as our other very worthy charities needed our suppport The final sum is expected to be over £23,000 so we must console ourselved with the knowledge that we did our best. We pray for the success of the Skills Centres and for the people of Malawi.

Update, Now that the period of agreement for supporting Steka has ended St Mary Magdalene´s can now announce that the total sum collected from the two parishes amonnts to £25700. This is truly a magnficent amount and covers the cost (even the unexpected increase of £2000 per skill). As always we wish Steka the very best of luck and of course, they will always be in our prayers

Sad News

We announce the death of one of our oldest parishioners, Pat Marin a founder member of St. Mary Magdalene´s Parish died peacefully in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on December 30th 2018 and was buried in Mount Vernon Cemetery on January 17th 2019.

From the very start of the new parish, in 1961, Pat and her late husband, Jim, contributed much to the development of this parish. Over the past couple of years Pat has been less active but continued to work quietly in many ways . Right up until Christmas, on a weekly basis, she still laundered the small altar clothes for the church services. Her efforts over the past 57 years have helped to make our parish what it is today. She will be missed.

Her daughter Jane, also a parishiioner here, follows in the tradition of her parents and is actively involved in parish life. We offer Jane our prayers and condolences. Let us pray for Pat
Eternal rest give unto Pat, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. AMEN

  St Mary Magdalenes

Michael Camirelli's Graduation Ceremony On Thursday 29th November 2018

One of our young parishioners has graduated. Michael, who is from Gozo has been studying at Edinburgh University for the past few years and we are delighted to congratulate him on his successes over the years.

He has now graduated with his Masters degree in Data Science. We are pleased too, that he will not leave St. Mary Magdalene´s yet as he will continue to study for his PhD. Michael, as well as being a good student, is also an active and valued member of our parish.
Well Done Michael

In the year 2017 Our children raise money for Mary´s Meals

In response to an appeal on behalf of Mary´s Meals our altar servers and some of the older children in our children´s liturgy group decided to fund raise for this cause. They decided to hold a Bake Sale after mass. After a lot of hard work they raised an amazing amount of money £240.

A representative of Mary´s Meals visited our primary school, St John´s,to be presented with the cheque. Well done, Children!

  fnd raising
the cheque


As an organisation working in some of the world´s poorest communities, we´re committed to keeping our running costs low to maximise the good we can do with the donations entrusted to us.

This is only possible because most of our work is done by an army of volunteers in our fundraising countries and in the communities where we work, who carry out lots of little acts of love on our behalf.

And earlier news, another happy occasion for St. Mary Magdalene´s

Inscription reads: Congratulations, Madge and Robert on your Ruby Wedding. On 4th February 2017 two of our long-standing parishioners, Madge and Robert Moyes celebrated 40 years of marriage and on Sunday 5th February at Sunday Mass they renewed their wedding vows. Robert, as well as his other parish duies, is the key holder for the church and passkeeper at mass while Madge runs the 200 Club and looks after the book/card stall each week. Madge looked lovely as she stood beside smart, smiling Robert.

Since our current Parish Priest, Father Jock Dalrymple, is at present on a very short sabbatical our much loved former parish priest, Father Tabone, has travelled from retirement in Malta to look after both parishes in Father Jock´s absence. However Father Jock kindly returned to the Parish, briefly, to assist Father Tabone on the happy day so Robert and Madge had the joy of having the blessing of two priests.

Father Tabone and Fr Jock concelebrated Mass and Father Jock officiated when Robert and Madge renewed their marriage vows. After mass everyone was invited to the hall for refreshments. Most parishioners and the many visitors accepted that invitation. There was further cause for celebration on the morning of Tuesday 7th February when Robert and Madge rejoiced in the birth of their latest grandaughter Martha Emily - a daughter for Paul and Carly and a lttle sister for Cody. That, for Robert and Madge, was the perfect end to a perfect week-end. We wish them all the best

  Robert and Madge

Archbishop Leo Cushley presents Bernard Ayers with the Diocesan Medal at Mass on March 6th 2016

We are delighted that Bernard Ayers, who is one of one most respected, loved and valued parishioners received the Diocesan Medal for his unselfish contribution to St Mary Magdalene's over a period of many years.He worked for both the spiritual and material welfare of the church. Today, although no longer fit for the heavy physical work, he still quietly continues to offer practical advice and to take communion to the housebound. Much of his work was carried out behind the scenes.

It was essential work without which the fabric of our church would not be in its current good condition. Bernard is an unassumoing person who has never sought the limelight nor recognition for his efforts. We are grateful for his work and we thank God for Bernard.

We sadly announce that Bernard has died

Sadly on Sunday 9th April 2017 Bernard passed away peacefully in the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh. His Requiem Mass was held, obviiously, in St Mary Magdaalene's Church at 12.45pm on Thursday 20th April 2017. His wife, Ella, who has also been ill, in hospital, was brought to the church for the Mass. We pray for Ella and for all Bernard's famiy. Our parish and Bernard's many friends will miss him very much.

Eternal rest grant unto Bernard, O Lord
And let perpetual rest shine on him
May he rest in peace. Amen

St Mary Magdalenes

First Holy Communion Day in St. Mary Magdalene´s 2016 and 2017

Special days in our Parish. Eleven children - ten girls and one boy - made their First Holy Communion. Their smiles say it all! After Mass we had a celebration in the hall not only for the children but for the parish too.

We were delighted that we have so many children and that we now have several altar servers every Sunday. On June 4th 2017, 10 children made their First Holy Communion - two girls and eight boys. After Mass we had a celebration in the hall not only for the children but for the parish too.


All Together

On 10th September 2017 Father Tabone, with about 30 members (of mixed ages) of his parish in Gozo, together with their parish priest, Father Jimmy, visited Edinburgh for a week. St Mary Magdalene´s parishioners invited them to come to Portobello on Saturday morning of 16th September. It was to be their final day in Edinburgh before catching a very early flight back to Malta on Sunday 17th September. Father Tabone agreed to celebrate Mass for us and then there would be refreshments to follow in our parish hall with a chance for our two groups to meet and become acquainted. Parishioners from St John's were, of course, invited too.

We arranged for a coach to collect our visitors from their hotel, Corstorphine Lodge Hotel,to bring them to our church. Mass was scheduled for approx 9.45am and along with Father Tabone was concelebrated with Father Jimmy and Father Jock. We felt really privileged to have three priests celebrating mass with us. As was to be expected the mass was attended by a large number of our parishioners.

  Group from Gozo

Our Celebration Cake

After mass the celebration in our hall was a happy one . Michael, a young man from Gozo, who had spent a couple of years with us while studying at university when Father Tabone was our Parish Priest came with the group on this trip. He has been offered a place at university to study for his PhD so, for the next four years, we will have him with us. We are delighted to welcome him back and he is with us now. Around noon the Gozo group left on the N0 4 bus heading for the city centre where they planned a last minute shopping trip before heading back to their hotel.

On Sunday morning someone tracked their flight and discovered it had made an unscheduled diversion to land in Milan. That, of course, caused some concern but we learned that a passenger (not a member of the Gozo group) had taken ill and had to be taken to hospital in Milan. Their flight from Milan was then delayed for a few hours. However, though tired and late, they arrived home safely. We hope that sometime in the future, God willing, they will visit Scotland again. The parish has since received a lovely card form our visitors. Thank you, friends

A life size statue of St Mary Magdalene is the latest addition to our other church icons. It is a gift from St Mary's Cathedal and is appreciated by our parish. Currently it is now situated in a prominent position in the entrance porch. Please take time to admire it as you enter the church.

We are delighted to learn that Pope Francis has raised the memorial of St Mary Magdalene to a feast. Pope Francis sees her as an early Apostle.


  Saint Mary Magdalene
Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

This statue was given to the parish by the family of deceased parishoiners, Basil and Maria Juska. Sadly Basil and Maria died in December 2015, just two weeks apart. The statue stood in their home for many years and was treasured by them.. Because of this and because St Mary Magdalene's Parish meant so much to Basil and Maria their son and his family offered it to our parish. We are now proud to have it positioned in the church near the main altar .Our thanks to the Juska family for this generous gift. They are remembered in our parish prayers. Please visit the statue next time you are in the church.

The statue was donated to the Church by Maria and Basil Juska

Maria and Basil Juska together again



St Mary Magdalenes
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