kids encyclopedia robot

Charlotte Chapel (Edinburgh) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Edinburgh IMG 4107 (14918954812)
St George's West Church, Shandwick Place, where the congregation now worships

The Charlotte Chapel, also known by its previous name, St George's West Church, is a historic church building located in Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, Scotland. It belongs to an Independent Baptist congregation, and was originally a parish church of the Church of Scotland.


The congregation was established in January 1808, when Christopher Anderson, a young Edinburgh businessman, began evangelical work in the Pleasance area of the city. By 1816 his Pleasance church was too small and he bought Charlotte Chapel, recently vacated by a Qualified congregation which had joined the Scottish Episcopal Church and then moved to St John's Church, on Princes Street. This original two-storeyed building seated 750. Anderson was pastor until 1851 and membership peaked at 232 in 1873, although many more attended services. Membership began to fall due mainly to emigration, and by 1901 the church had no minister and only a small congregation. Joseph Kemp, of Hawick, who was appointed pastor, began a revival, holding open-air meetings in Princes Street. Membership rose once more and in 1907 plans for a new building were prepared. The Rose Street church building was built at a cost of £7,250 and opened in 1912 with seating for exactly 1000.

The Assembly Rooms, George Street - - 967953
Assembly Rooms (Edinburgh) site of the chapel's Bicentenary Luncheon.

In 2008 during the latter part of pastor Peter Grainger's tenure, the church held its 200th anniversary celebrations over the course of an extended weekend in October which included a large cèilidh at an area school, a formal luncheon at the Assembly Rooms on George Street, and a concert by modern hymn writers Kristen and Keith Getty.

Also for the bicentennial the church saw many former members return and guest ministers visit including James Moser, Derek Prime, and American-based radio pastor Alistair Begg. Begg, a native of Scotland, was formerly "Pastor's Assistant" to Derek Prime at Charlotte Chapel beginning in September 1975 and returned to lead the 2008 celebrations, preaching at both the Sunday morning and evening services at the church's former Rose Street location. In addition, a scholarly book exploring the church's history and concluding with the 200th anniversary was later written by "honorary elder and former secretary" Dr. Ian L.S. Balfour entitled "Revival in Rose Street: A history of Charlotte Baptist Chapel, Edinburgh."

Senior Pastors of Charlotte Chapel

  • W. Graham Scroggie (1916–1933)
  • J. Sidlow Baxter (1935–1953)
  • Gerald Griffiths (1954–1962)
  • Alan Redpath (1964–1968)
  • Derek Prime (1969–1987)
  • Peter Grainger (1992–2009)
  • Paul Rees (2009–date)


There are three services every Sunday: two in the morning at 9am and 11am and an evening service at 7:00pm.


In May 2016, the congregation moved to the redundant St George's West Church at 58 Shandwick Place. The previous owner was a congregation of the Church of Scotland, and in 2013, the church was closed, the congregation merging with another nearby to form St Andrew's and St George's West Church.

Charlotte Chapel Logo
The chapel's logo


Charlotte Chapel has several 'daughter' churches:

  • Niddrie Community Church in the Niddrie area of Edinburgh.
  • Wester Hailes Baptist Church (founded 1971)
  • Barnton Baptist Church (founded 1986) Now Citygates.
kids search engine
Charlotte Chapel (Edinburgh) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.