St Mungo’s explores vision for new church building

St Mungo’s, Balerno, Edinburgh has begun work on a project which could result in the building of a new church in the city suburb.

Although a final decision by the church Vestry is still some way off, the decision in principle has been taken to explore the building of a new church in a field that was gifted to the Diocese of Edinburgh by a church member back in 1942.

The field is located opposite Balerno High School, the temporary Sunday morning home of St Mungo’s for the past three decades (the congregation for Sunday’s main service outgrew the original St Mungo’s church building in Ladycroft, pictured).

With a history as part of the Balerno community going back to the 1860s, St Mungo’s has an adult church family of around 750 and across its three Sunday morning services – two in Balerno and one in Livingston.

As St Mungo’s has steadily grown in the last 10-15 years, complications with using the local high school building for worship have emerged since the end of lockdown restrictions. Many have been maintenance-related or, increasingly, a lack of janitorial staff willing to work on a Sunday after the Council centralised its services. This has meant Sunday evening services have not been possible at the school since before lockdown and, more disruptively, last-minute venue changes due to maintenance problems have meant moving services to nearby Heriot-Watt University.

St Mungo’s has been blessed to have access to the university’s main Lecture Hall but its location is not convenient for non-drivers. As well as the cost to hire, every piece of kit has to be packed up and driven there and back.

No budget has yet been set, but the cost will be significant, and the timescale is expected to be at least five years. Vestry believes that the need for a new building is strong and, in practical terms, that the time is right to explore the potential of having a church building that will enable St Mungo’s to grow and flourish.