The pulpit is part of the original fabric of Christ Church Morningside, but unfortunately there are few surviving items in the church archives for the period 1874-1883, and therefore we think it was finished around 1878 and was a present from the ladies of the congregation. It was designed in an ambitious french gothic style, with angels at each corner, by Hippolyte J. Blanc, who was the architect for the church and also a member of the congregation, and made by a local sculptor, J. Rhind.
Originally, the pulpit was built without the current brass handrail and, according to the church archives, this proved a difficulty for some of the clergy. In 1908, the incumbent, Rev C. M. Black, made a particular plea for the 'aged and infirm clergymen' suggesting that 'it would be a mistake perhaps to postpone the safeguard [of the handrail] till [the clergyman] actually topples over the unprotected stairs, and splashes the stony parade with disagreeable emphasis'!
Over the years, the pulpit had gradually started to tilt forward, away from the wall. Before anything was covered with 'disagreeable emphasis', the congregation decided the pulpit would need to be repaired. To straighten the pulpit a steel beam support structure was introduced in the floor underneath and the pulpit gradually straightened. It has also been cleaned to restore it to its original colour.
We are very grateful to the funders - Viridor Credits; the Baird Trust; the Dunderdale Building Fund; Wren; and Scotland's Churches Trust along with the generosity of members of the congregation - to enable the repair of this beautiful relic. You can see a gallery of the refurbishment work below.