In 2016 a number of individuals interested in the restoration, reinstatement, preservation and public presentation in their context of the murals painted by Alexander Runciman in the east apse of St Patrick’s RC Church Cowgate, Edinburgh, decided to establish a trust to achieve these objectives.
Although this apse currently functions as a side chapel, it was originally designed as the sanctuary where the liturgy was celebrated. This was before the main altar was repositioned 45 degrees north to its current position.
The initial trustees included representatives of the three religious denominations associated with the history of the building, now known as St Patrick’s RC Church. The church was built by Episcopalians and the murals were commissioned at that stage. Canon Ian Paton of Old St Paul’s Episcopalian Church, Edinburgh was one of the initial trustees.
Following his appointment as Bishop of St Andrews, Dunblane and Dunkeld, he resigned as a trustee in August 2018. David Todd, a lay preacher in that congregation, was assumed as a substitute trustee.
The next congregation to occupy the Church were the United Presbyterians. Rev Neil Gardner, minister at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh was also an initial trustee and remains so. Monsignor Philip Kerr, parish priest at St Patrick’s represents the Catholic congregation who were the third denomination to occupy the church and continue to do so.
The current trustees are:
- The Right Honourable The Lord Hardie, former Lord Advocate and former Senator of the College of Justice (chairman)
- The Right Reverend Monsignor Philip Kerr (secretary)
- The Reverend Neil Gardner
- Professor Duncan Macmillan, Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and former curator of the Talbot Rice Gallery
- David Marriott (treasurer)
- Professor Peter Davidson
- David Todd MA.,M.Mus.,BD