A generous donation has led to the launch of a new bursary that will support students of a Catholic theology course in Edinburgh.

The Erroll Bursary Fund will contribute £500 towards fees on the two-year Master’s Degree in Theology at St Mary's University's Gillis Centre Campus.

The University itself will match each successful bursary application with a further £500.

It comes following a donation of £8,000 from the Honourable Peregrine Moncreiffe to the university's Gillis Campus.

Investment banker Peregrine Hay (main image, inset) became chief of Clan Moncreiffe in 1998.

A practicing Catholic, he is known as Moncreiffe of that Ilk after his clan link was recognised by the Lord Lyon. He is also the feudal baron of Easter Moncreiffe, the clan seat, in Perthshire.

Angus Hay (main image, right) representing his kinsman, made the donation this week at St Bennet's, the home of Archbishop Leo Cushley.

Mr Hay said: "This theology course is a wonderful way for people to advance in their knowledge and love of the Catholic faith.

“Peregrine became aware of it and wanted to make a donation so that the Erroll Bursary could be set up to give a helping hand to prospective students.”

I am very grateful to the Honourable Peregrine Moncreiffe for this kind and timely donation.

The fund is so-called due to the Hay family’s links with the Earl of Erroll title which goes back many centuries (Peregrine’s brother is the present 24th Earl of Erroll).

Archbishop Leo Cushley (main image, left) said: "The cost of fees for the Master's course can be a challenge for some students, so the Erroll Bursary Fund will allow us to offer them a contribution to the cost.

“That means greater accessibility to a qualification that provides an invaluable way for Catholics to hone and widen their understanding of the Catholic Faith at our Gillis Campus.

"I am very grateful to the Honourable Peregrine Moncreiffe for this kind and timely donation."

A spokesperson for St Mary's University said: “We are delighted and honoured by the generosity of the Hon. Peregrine Moncreiffe.

"Enabling people to study on the MA in Applied Catholic Theology will greatly aid the shared endeavour of St Mary’s University with the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, to equip the faithful to be of service to the Church and the world – an exciting opportunity we want to be open to as many people as possible.”

The MA in Applied Catholic Theology is a partnership between St Mary's University, Twickenham, and the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.

It provides a thorough grounding in key aspects of Catholic theology, whilst developing the key skills to apply Catholic theology to the challenges and opportunities of the contemporary world. Teaching is flexible and the course is suitable for graduates of most academic disciplines.

To apply for the course and to find out more about the Errol Bursary Fund, visit stmarys.ac.uk/Edinburgh