More from Tom
By Tom Allin
We stopped and explored the St. Giles Cathedral during our Royal Mile walk. The Cathedral stands out in my mind for two reasons: 1) the purpose of the Thistle Chapel and 2) the carvings within the Chapel.
History says a church has stood on this spot since 854 but the Cathedral building mostly dates from the 15th – 19th century. A primary reason for very little of the first churches remains being available to view is invading English armies torched these churches twice in the 1400s. St. Giles was built as a Catholic church but today is considered the primary church of the Church of Scotland and the “Mother Church of Presbyterianism”.
The Reformation reformer John Knox (1514 – 1572) preached his sermons from St. Giles. Knox led the Scottish change from Catholicism to Protestantism. The Scottish Parliament in 1560 decreed Scotland was a Protestant country. Knox also played a role in the dethroning and eventual beheading of Mary Queen of Scots. In today’s world Knox would be called misogynistic but in his time he held the common (male) thought that women were not capable of being leaders, etc.
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