Back to the future

This year our New Kirk Halls are celebrating their twentieth birthday. As you enter the main door of Liberton Kirk Centre, you will see a commemorative stone, set into the floor at your feet, saying “Liberton Kirk Halls, 1993”.

Back in the 1980’s and led by John Cameron, the members of our church developed the bold and imaginative vision of turning their halls into a community centre for all the people of Liberton, and in 1993, after many years of fundraising, the new Kirk Halls were finally opened. 

Looking back over the last twenty years we can see how wonderfully that vision has been fulfilled. The Kirk Centre, which is the envy of many Edinburgh churches, is used regularly by hundreds of people of all ages, the majority of whom have no ‘official’ church connection at all. This, in turn, has encouraged the warm recognition of our presence in the area as a whole, and has acted as a ‘bridge’, connecting us with those who are interested in exploring our faith and becoming more involved in our church’s life.

Over the years, however, the continuous use of our halls has highlighted one or two things which still needed to be improved upon. The entrance area, which opens onto the stairs, is generally unwelcoming, the double doors into the Foyer are a major obstacle for wheelchair users and buggies, and the fact that no one can see who is coming in and going out of the front door has always been a security issue.

While there has been a growing feeling that something needs to be done, money has always been a problem, and, given the current financial climate, another fund-raising project is something we have been keen to avoid. I am happy to announce, therefore, that, thanks to the generosity and foresight of several individuals, we are now in a position to do something without having to raise any extra funds at all. These people are May Hunter, Minnie Brown, Kathleen Donald, and Wilma Munro, – well known members of our congregation who are now no longer with us but have left money for us in their wills.

Having spent many months in planning and discussion, the Kirk Session decided on Monday 11th March to go ahead with plans to upgrade the entrance and Foyer of our Halls Complex. We plan to replace the double doors with single glass doors set into a glass partition, and to replace the kitchen hatch with a proper servery. We have appointed an architect, and have every hope that the alterations will have begun by the end of June and completed within three months. 

It is our hope that the result will be a halls complex that is much more open, welcoming and secure, opening up onto a Foyer which is designed as the meeting point for all the halls users – a place where friendships can be developed and relationships built upon. God has been good, and we can now look forward to the original vision of the 1980’s to be further enhanced for many years to come.

Much love