Rod Stewart visits the capital

Rock Legend (Credit: Eddie Mallin)

ROCK legend Rod Stewart has returned to the Scottish capital for the baptism of his second son.

The service was performed by Rev Ian Gilmour, the minister who carried out his wedding to Penny Lancaster and baptised their first son.

The tartan-clad service was held in Edinburgh city centre and was kept secret until the last minute.

The reverend travelled from South Leith Parish Church to Portofino in Italy to officiate at the couple’s wedding, which was held on a luxury yacht in 2007.

In a service on Sunday, he baptised the couple’s son Aiden at St Andrews’ and St George’s West on George Street, where the minister has since moved.

Mr Stewart’s father Bob was born in Leith, and the rocker has decided to keep in touch with his local roots.

Scotland international Gordon Strachan also attended the ceremony.

Rev Gilmour said: “They’d approached me during the summer to ask if it was possible, and I said that I was no longer in Leith.

“The original connection was with Leith, because Rod’s father had been brought up within Leith so I wondered if they would want to return to South Leith Parish Church, where Alastair, their older son was baptised.

“But they said that because I’d undertaken their wedding in Italy and the baptism of their eldest son and the baptism of their eldest son, they decided to follow me to St Andrew’s and St George’s.”

Stewart and his son Alastair, now six, both wore Royal Stewart tartan trews for the service, while Ms Lancaster wore a tartan throw and an orange shrug.

Rev Gilmour said he kept the service under wraps from his regular flock until the day itself.

He said: “It was a complete surprise. People were very pleased to be part of it.

“It’s always good to have a child being baptised at church, and of course Christmas is a special time when we’re thinking about children anyway.

“It was an unusual service in that we had a piper piping them into the church and was unusual in that we’ve got a Christmas tree festival on at the moment, so we’ve got 30 Christmas trees in each of the churches.”

The reverend said he used the theme of John the Baptist guiding the feet of his followers towards Jesus during the service, and joked: “Aiden was kicking his feet at the baptism, so I was able to use that to good effect.”

After the service, the party went to the Balmoral Hotel for a meal.

Rev Gilmour added: “It was very nice. Rod and the godfather, Oliver Lancaster, said some words and everybody had a glass of wine.”