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Community Groups

St Mary's a thriving body of Christians, coming together regularly to pray, to think, to act, and to talk.  Some of the groups that we have here are listed below.

Faith and Growth Group


The Faith and Growth group helps provide for the spiritual life of the Cathedral and its members, in various ways.  This includes an online series, Cathedral Conversations; Lent discussions; organising retreats, a book-group and a monthly 'Poetry Close-Up', and various inter-faith and ecumenical activities.  Bryony Faraday is the convenor, and can be contacted at

Praying Together Group


Prayer lies at the heart of the cathedral. To explore prayer further, a group from the congregation meet on Zoom once a fortnight. We pray for the wider world; our own closer concerns; the life and work of the cathedral, and all who worship and work in it; and some of the prayers from the prayer tree, so that we are praying with our visitors too.  It is a very informal and relaxed affair.  There is almost always something moving; something amusing; and the special feeling of connection with God, and with each other, that comes when you pray together.


Meetings last about an hour, and are alternately 9am on Tuesday mornings and 7:30 pm on Thursday evenings. Email the office for the zoom link and passcode.  All are welcome to join us, either regularly or occasionally.

If you would like the Praying Together Group to pray for anyone in particular, or if you would like someone or something to be remembered in the Cathedral's Daily Prayer, please email

Social Responsibility Group


The Cathedral's Social Responsibility group aims to address injustices, both in the local community and further afield.  This encompasses raising money for Christian Aid; providing hot meals for homeless people at the Bethany Welcome Centre; supporting the work of the Food Bank at St Salvador’s Episcopal Church, Stenhouse; running the One World Fair Trade stall at coffee after Sunday morning services; and responding to various other needs as they arise (for example, collecting for the Turkish earthquake response in February 2023).

Walk and Talk Group

Walk and Talk meets on the first Thursday of each month: we offer an opportunity to meet up with others for a walk and a chat in pleasant surroundings.  All are welcome: the walks are easy rather than strenuous, usually around 5 to 6 miles long, and participants may choose to cover just a part of the route. Travel to join the walks is by public transport (usually bus), and those who wish can enjoy a light lunch together afterwards.  Recent outings have included sections of the Water of Leith Walkway, the Longniddry to Haddington Railway Path, and along the shore of the Forth from Fisherrow to Cockenzie.   For more information, contact the Cathedral Office, or sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Craft and Chat Group

The Craft and Chat group meets fortnightly on Tuesdays, 10:30–12:15pm, alternating between in person in the Cathedral Chapter House and online via Zoom.  All crafters (knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, lace-making, paper-cutting….) are very welcome to join us regularly or occasionally.  We look forward to meeting you and sharing our love of making things and enjoying time together.  Enquiries to

Book Group

The Book Group currently meets online (via Zoom) every six weeks or so on a Monday evening 7:30-9:00pm.  We read a variety of books, alternating between more obviously ‘religious’ titles and other fiction, biography etc. though whatever the book, we often find points of interest in relation to our faith.  Discussion and debate is informal and friendly, and frequently punctuated by laughter!  We welcome folk to join us as regular members or to attend occasional meetings when attracted by a particular book (titles and meeting dates are advertised in the weekly congregation email).  For more information contact Helen Hood on

Poetry Close-Up

Poetry Close-up is a group who meets together eight times a year on the last Monday of the month, to read and discus a selection of poems by a specific author.  The choice of poets is far-ranging and over the years has included Aphra Behn, George Herbert, Dante, Anna Akhmatova, Hardy, Philip Larkin, William Blake, Jen Hadfield and many others.  The discussions focus on the meaning and style of the poem and sometimes stray from the literary into the spiritual realm with lively but always harmonious debate.  The social side is not forgotten as we stop at half time for tea and cake.  We are a very friendly group and welcome new members.  The group is organised by Elizabeth Mathison:

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