Granton United Church
The congregation of Granton United Church in north Edinburgh had a building that was no longer fit for purpose, but they were held back by lack of financial resources. They approached Scottish Churches Housing Action to help them.
The project manager worked with a steering group from the congregation, establishing the needs of the church. Port of Leith Housing Association, who had already carried out the redevelopment of a nearby URC church, agreed in principle to develop the site.
Over the next twelve months, Churches Housing represented the members of the church through the planning and negotiation process. It was agreed that the building would be demolished and fifteen affordable flats for rent would be built, alongside a new church.
In July 2010, the sale was completed; by August the building was demolished and construction had started. Work was completed in the autumn of 2011, and the flats were occupied by families in housing need. The church celebrated its new building with worship on Saturday 3 March 2012.
Jeremy Balfour, Property Project Manager for Scottish Churches Housing Action was there:
Imagine sitting in a cold damp church hall with poor lighting and wooden chairs that were very uncomfortable. Probably not that hard to imagine and many of us have experienced it! That was my experience of my first meeting at Granton United Church in north Edinburgh two and half years ago.
Move ahead to a lovely sunny warm Saturday afternoon in March sitting on a comfortable chair in a bright beautiful new building worshipping God and celebrating the opening of the new building at Granton.
The contrast was amazing – the new worship centre was ideal and fits the church’s purposes for the 21st century. Next door, new affordable flats were occupied and have created a new community.
David Wood, Chief Executive, CRNS