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Church of Scotland
UK News

Scottish Parliament praises Edinburgh church as it celebrates 80 years

by Tola Mbakwe

Edinburgh Pentlands MSP, Gordon Macdonald, tabled a motion praising leaders at St Nicholas Church in Sighthill for "being a positive and welcoming presence for all in the community."

The motion was signed by 12 other cross-party MSPs in August.

There will be month-long celebrations including a service led by Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Rev Dr Tom Kisitu, the minister at St Nicholas Church said it's a momentous year for the church.

"It is a time to give thanks for our 80 years of life and work, as a local parish church.

"I know some might ask why we celebrate, especially at a time when our church, the Church of Scotland, struggles in many ways to remain relevant and unmistakably visible in a fast-moving nation and on an evolving Scottish 'landscape'.

"Our response is, why not celebrate? Why not celebrate God's mighty hand on, in and through a community of faith and action like St Nicholas Church, which only 50 years ago, had the largest Sunday school in Scotland, peaking at just over 1000 children!

"As we celebrate 80 years of existence as a local parish church, we're following the practice of looking back to see, understand and appreciate God's footprints in our life, and our work must enrich (and indeed be followed by) the living of our lives together, forwards - as we break new ground, take new actions and make new choices."

The congregation has decorated a wall of the church with a detailed timeline of the last 80 years in the church, from its beginnings in 1939 as a temporary wooden hut measuring 60ft by 20ft to the present day.

Established as a parish in 1939, the present church building was opened in 1959 and quickly came to be known as 'the Children's Church' due to part of the initial church funding being raised by Sunday Schools around Scotland and overseas.

In recognition of this, the name St Nicholas, the patron saint of children, was given to the church.

The anniversary celebrations include a community lunch, flower festival, open doors day and the Bristo Community Concert Band leading a special praise service.

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