To encourage the setting up of a Centre as proposed, subject to sufficient interest of individuals within each church joining the Centre as individual members.
The notes of the time go on to say:
Subsequent circulars and signatures establish that such interest greatly exceeds the minimum required.
A steering committee was then appointed to progress the proposal.
The Steering Committee set up by the four churches two years ago has now completed its work… Your steering committee now asks for your full support in setting up and establishing the Holy Corner Church Centre.
Purpose of the Centre:
To act on behalf of Morningside Baptist Church, Christ Church Morningside, North Morningside Church and Morningside Congregational Church as an expression of their joint Christian witness to further the provision of community services to all members of the community of whatever age and whatever circumstance, irrespective of denominational life.
They state that:
Whatever we do apart we can do more effectively together.
The meeting held on 30th January 1980 for the inauguration of the Holy Corner Church Centre became “an historic milestone in the life and development of our churches”.
In October 1981 the Centre purchased North Morningside Parish Church for the princely sum of £20,000.
On Feb 23rd 1987 the jury met to consider competitors’ plans and choose a winner of the competition to design a Centre capable of serving the local community well into the 21st Century.
Nicholas Groves-Raines Architects was chosen as the winner. April 1987 was a busy month in which the trustees agreed that the development and building scheme should be promoted as the “Eric Liddell Centre”. The 1987 AGM reports progress and growth in the following activities:
Fellowship of Healing, Pastoral Foundation, Lunch Club, Napier Club, Job Club and The Sycomore. It was also agreed that a central office for the benefit of churches and Centre should be set up.
It was noted that they would require to raise £1m for the building scheme.
The Centre continued to develop new services including The Corner, a drop in service for people with mental health problems created in partnership with Christ Church, Morningside. The Tuesday and Thursday Clubs were also added to the Centre’s portfolio in an effort to provide specialised day care for people with a diagnosis of dementia.
A report by one of the trustees, Professor John Richardson, on the future management of the Centre in 1993 recommended the appointment of a manager for the Centre. A group was set up to progress the recommendation by “bringing in a person who could drive through sufficient activities to make the Centre financially viable”. Some photographs taken during the rebuilding work. There are more here.
Many of the Centre’s users still talk about their delight at meeting and chatting to Prince Charles!
The 3M’s Social Needs Survey was published in November 1996 and was to hold a pivotal role in the future development of the Centre. In addition to the support that this research provided for the Centre and other local groups, it also highlighted the need for youth work in the area.
The Centre is proud to have been a founding partner of the 3M’s Millennium Volunteer Partnership that was more recently renamed the 3Ms Youth Partnership. The Partnership was set up to address the need for youth work in the local community. The Ca(I)re Programme for Edinburgh’s carers was set up to put the “I” back into carers lives, through running free courses to give them time away from their caring duties.
Recently, this service was relocated to the Centre’s Bradbury Suite. The amalgamated service was registered with the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care during 2007 and received its first inspection in February 2009.
You can search for the report at the Care Commission website or download it directly from here.
The Business Plan of the time shows the Centre being used by 28 other groups and 446 users per week and anticipating growth to 746 per week on completion of Phase 2.
It continued to serve the community as Cafe Gold until it was closed in March 2009. The photographic exhibition has been relocated within the Centre.
Cafe Connect, a new Centre cafe run by volunteers was also opened. A permanent exhibition area on Eric Liddell’s life and times was opened on the ground floor of the Centre. Shortly after, Sue Liddell Caton and Joan Nicol (Eric Liddell’s nieces) joined Scotland rugby legend Scott Hastings and the Centre’s Fundraising Manager, Ewan Hastings, for a live BBC World Service show, which was beamed from the Centre to an estimated worldwide audience of 40million listeners.
Local author Alexander McCall Smith joined “Chariots of Fire” film Producer Lord David Puttman and Sue Liddell Caton as a Centre Patron. The Centre’s “secret” back garden was transformed from a jungle of overgrown weeds to an oasis of calm as a new resource for the clients of the Centre’s Day Care service.
Since its establishment the use of the Centre has continued to grow to now servicing over 180 local groups, charities and companies serving approximately 2,000 people, of all ages, every week of the year.
Nine other charities occupy office space in the building. We give thanks for a generation of members, volunteers, trustees, the public and numerous funders who have given their time, expertise and love to ensure that the vision they were called to achieve became and continues to become reality.