Champagne to Replace Red Wine for Communion

South Leith Parish Church in Edinburgh wanted to celebrate entering its 400th year with something really special and they have come up with the idea of changing the normal drop of red communion wine for a goblet of champagne.

Rev Ian Gilmour said: "Champagne is the drink used around the world to celebrate.

"We are going to use it to emphasise the party aspect of being together."

Church members’ decided it would be a fitting tribute to the four-century church’s history and intend to the hold the one-off unusual communion in October this year.

Earlier this week there was a special event held with the coming together of all five of the port’s churches for one large communion.

Rev Gilmour said: "It's something we have been working on for a long time after deciding that the churches should be having a communion together."

Past and Present Church Goers to be Invited Back

Events have been scheduled for every month to mark the milestone with an estimated 20,000 invited people thought to be eligible in helping celebrate and take part in the champagne communion.

Special celebrations will also be held to remember those buried in the churchyard and those Leithers’ who were baptised in the church along with all the couples who got married over the years will be honoured.

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster’s son Alastair Stewart was brought to the church in June 2006 and Rev Gilmore said "Rod Stewart certainly will be contacted by letter”.

"We wrote to him last year, sending him a celebratory book for his son and he wrote back to thank us. It would be good if he could come."

The congregation of South Leith Parish Church are happy to point out that their church tower is the only place in Scotland where four consecutive coats of arms or a royal house can be seen today. 

The coats of arms of James are James VI of Scotland, I of England, Charles I, Mary De Guise and Mary Queen of Scots. 

Worshippers will be celebrating their church's long history in Leith throughout the year but it will only be the one time that champagne will be offered instead of red communion wine.