About Us

About Us


Mayfield Salisbury is a vibrant church on the south side of Edinburgh which offers engaging ministry to all ages. We do not shy away from the difficult questions the world poses us and, through our worship we offer a space in the midst of busy lives where people can search, wonder and pray together. We are an inclusive congregation, crossing boundaries of class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status and family situation. Our ethos of inclusion, in line with our understanding of ministry and service, comes from our deep belief that the ministry of Jesus Christ, which we offer, is intended for all people. We support Rev’d Dr Giles Frazer, an Anglican Priest, when he writes that 'Inclusivity... [is] a gospel imperative, fundamental to the nature of God and at the very heart of the mission and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ To that end we welcome all those who wish to journey with us. What We Believe tells you more.

Revd Dr Sandy Forsyth has been our minister since January 2021. His theology is rational, progressive and pertinent to life in the 21st Century and he had no hesitation in tackling controversial subjects. He believed that beauty in worship: in the liturgy, in the music, in the sanctuary, is vitally important. 



Mayfield Salisbury has about 450 members and also many adherents and friends who are part of our wider community. There are three services of Worship on most Sundays and a wide variety of other activities. Some of these give particular opportunities for involvement in worship, such as our choir, our ‘welcome’ team and our Young people's ministry.
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Others have a wider brief, like the group who are involved in reducing our carbon foot print through our Eco-Congregation initiative. Still other activities are more centred on fellowship, like the walking group, or on caring for others such as our car-pools or through our very active Christian Aid group (details on our Activities page).

We also have an extensive network of House Groups; small groups who come together regularly to explore faith and offer each other fellowship and mutual support. The make-up of these groups varies widely as do the study materials they choose. Another point of contact is our Parish Magazine and many are involved each month in its production: writing articles, taking photographs, proof reading and distribution. Our web site too requires constant attention to keep it up to date and a small team work on this. If you have any comments on our web site or any queries please leave a message on our contact us page.
There is a wide selection of photographs on our Gallery showing many aspects of worship, fellowship and outreach at Mayfield Salisbury

Our Flickr  photostream can be found HERE.
info_slide1.jpgMayfield Salisbury is an Eco-Congregation and a Fair Trade church

We also share our premises throughout the week with many other organisations (again details are on our  Activities page) and on Sunday afternoons the Chinese Evangelical Church holds its services of worship in our sanctuary and halls.



Those who have committed to a life based on faith believe they have something to offer in today’s world where increasingly people are searching for a route to spirituality. Our aim here at Mayfield Salisbury is first to centre our lives more and more on prayer. Timothy Radcliffe OP reminds us that ‘the point of the Christian life is just to be with God.' Jesus says to the disciples: 'Abide in my love'. Today many churches are frantically busy attempting to attract new worshippers. Many new worship styles aim to make people happy, to entertain them. Our hope here is to become a worshipping community where people can come together to encounter God. To this end we aim to offer a variety of distinctive services which are appropriate and meaningful for every stage of life. For many years we were blessed by being led by a minister who was not only a great preacher but was particularly skilled in the art of spirituality and the conduct of public worship, a legacy we aim to continue. 



m_free-church-image.jpg align=baseline src=images/m_free-church-image.jpg _cke_saved_src=images/m_free-church-image.jpgMayfield Salisbury Church has always been a vibrant worshipping community. It's history dates back to the late nineteenth century. It arose not as the result of some violent schism but solely because of the rapid growth of the city. In those days Newington, with its dwellings, shops and businesses, was bounded on its south side by the old drove road (now East and West Mayfield) beyond which were the farms and fields of Mayfield. About 1870 Duncan McLaren of Newington House, a past Lord Provost and MP, began feuing this Mayfield land and by the time of his death in 1886 it was almost wholly built over. It was against this background that Mayfield Free Church (as it was first called) was born in 1875. The site for the present church at the corner of West Mayfield was selected in July 1876, and the main sanctuary was completed in 1879, the spire being added in 1894.  A detailed account of our history, inluding the booklet which was produced for our centenary in 1975, can be found in the History sections of this web site.

Contact Information

Mayfield Salisbury Parish Church,
18 West Mayfield,

0131 667 1522 / 0780 801 1234

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Scottish Charity Number: SC000785


  • Because God is both knowable and unknowable the tension of the symbol, the multilayers of the myth and the openness of the poetic are all vital to our desire to celebrate the Mystery to whom we relate and in whom we have our being.
    Mark Oakley

  • You must love him as he is: neither God, nor spirit, nor image; even more, the One without commingling, pure, luminous ...

    Meister Eckhart

  • The purpose of our life is God's glory. However lowly a life is, that is what makes it great.
    Oscar Romero

  • Faith may justify bigotry or fanaticism, as Church history tragically witnesses. It needs a safeguard. If it is not animated as it were by the greatest of the theological virtues (love), faith can become defective.
    Thomas Norris

  • Dry not, dry not, your tears of love eternal! Only to eyes that fail to weep does this world seem so dull and dead. Dry not, dry not, those long, sad tears of love.
    Johann von Goette

  • The post modern paradigm manifests itself as a unity which preserves diversity and diversity which strives after unity.
    David Bosch

  • There is only one assertion that requires no evidence. Children are a sacred trust...Unless we care properly for our children, we shall never build a better world.
    'A Good Childhood’ The Children’s Society

  • These are only hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses; and the rest is prayer.
    'The Dry Salvages' T.S.Eliot

  • According to strict truth, God is incomprehensible, and incapable of being measured.

  • Myth is a story about the way things never were, but always are.
    Thomas Mann

  • In the darkness ...The child of your love - and now become as the most hated one - the one You have thrown away as unwanted - unloved ..... The darkness is so dark .... I have no faith.
    Mother Teresa

  • I love the Bible. I owe my faith and my life to the Bible and its liberating message. It is in the Bible that I first met Jesus ... I too am included in God's embrace.
    Gene Robinson

  • It is this great absence that is like a presence, that compels me to address it without hope of a reply ....
    R.S. Thomas

  • Faith is not a proud self-consistent philosophy. It involves maintaining oneself between contradictions that can't be solved by analysis. It is therefore a living response to the grace of God as revealed in fragile lives.
    Mark Oakley

  • Any religion which does not say that God is hidden is not true.
    Blaise Pascal

  • The contemporary Church is losing aspects of its wide and generous memory and therefore condemning itself to become a 'swimming pool Church' - one that has all the noise coming from the shallow end.
    Mark Oakley

  • For all your doctrinal headaches take Paradox.
    Mark Oakley

  • The true vision and the true knowledge of what we seek consists precisely in not seeing, in an awareness that our goal transcends all knowledge and is everywhere cut off from us by the darkness of incomprehensibility.
    St Gregory of Nyssa

  • Death, death be hanged, the Lord has promised me that I shall live. This I believe!
    Martin Luther

  • We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life have not been put to rest.

  • Religion is the flight of the alone to the Alone.

  • Stupid clergymen appeal quite directly to a Bible passage directly understood ....
    Soren Kirkegaard

  • What is the point of the arts of reading and criticism as long as the ecclesiastical interpretation of the Bible, Protestant as well as Catholic, is cultivated as ever?
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  • A figure like Ecclesiast, rugged and luminous, chants in the dark a text that is the answer, although obscure.
    Wallace Stevens

  • Myth is the poetry of the soul.
    Sara Maitland

  • Our loss of the ability to think mythically, poetically, allegorically, creatively, theologically, and artfully is a greater threat to our religious experience than anything good scientists have to report ...
    Sara Maitland

  • In general, Zen attitude is that words and truth are incompatible, or at least that no words can capture truth.
    Douglas Hofstadter

  • 'God' is a one word poem
    Rowan Williams

  • What is today? Today is eternity.
    Meister Eckhart

  • Apprehend God in all things, for God is in all things.
    Meister Eckhart

  • The most powerful hunger we have, mostly suppressed and misdirected, is the hunger for God.
    Miroslav Volf

  • We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost.
    Thomas a Kempis

  • Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.
    Rabindranath Tagore

  • God is the beyond in our midst.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • 'God is not the answer, God is the question.'
    Herbert McCabe