Edinburgh church set for £2.1 million upgrade to help serve community

The Rev Peter Nelson wants the church to be welcoming, functional and flexibleThe Rev Peter Nelson wants the church to be welcoming, functional and flexible
The Rev Peter Nelson wants the church to be welcoming, functional and flexible
A city church is set for a £2.1 million upgrade to make the building fit to serve the community round about.

St John's Colinton Mains Parish Church is already well-used – before Covid – by groups from Scouts to mothers and toddlers.

But the B-listed 1950s building has not seen any significant upgrade over the years and now plans are being drawn up to improve and expand the premises.

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The current congregation was formed by the merger of St John’s Oxgangs and Colinton Mains Parish Churches in 2014, using the Colinton Mains building. The site of the Oxgangs building was sold and the £1.7m resulting from that will be used for the upgrade.

The Church of Scotland's Edinburgh presbytery has given the congregation the go-ahead to apply for planning approval and seek tenders for the proposed building project, though it will need to get final approval to proceed.

The minister the Rev Peter Nelson said: “We are in the early stages of exploring ambitious plans to further strengthen St John’s Colinton Mains Parish Church’s place in the heart of the community.

“The Church of Scotland is committed to ensuring that it has well-equipped spaces in the right places and that is why, following a union of two congregations, we want to reinvest in creating a welcoming, functional and flexible multi-use building that can be used seven-days a week.”

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Not everything has stopped because of the pandemic. Over the past few weeks, the church has collected 100 bags of food through reverse-advent boxes for a local foodbank and has held an online party for families who are part of the “bursting at the seams” Little Steps baby and toddler group.

Mr Nelson said: “The last nine months have shown that people are yearning for connections not only with others but also with God.

"The proposals, which have a long way to travel through the necessary planning process, are an expression of our commitment to create a church that serves the community in new and exciting ways to enable us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in person as well as online.”

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