Community Church has been a vibrant city centre church since 2001, although in reality we have been in existence for a lot longer than that.
Our roots go back to a Pentecostal Church. In the 1970′s, an Elim church called City Temple was growing and lively with young people and students getting involved. During this time they made some changes which today would most likely be taken for granted but at the time seemed really radical, moving away from legalism and rigidity into freedom in worship and relationship.
In 1977 a new church was established, called Edinburgh City Fellowship (ECF). It was part of a number of new churches, what became known as house churches, established in towns and cities around the UK at that time. They were generally charismatic evangelical churches, with an orthodox Christian faith, but expressing that faith in a contemporary way. There are still people part of Community Church who were involved in City Temple and the early days of ECF.
During the 80′s and 90′s, in the midst of the inevitable ups and downs of church life, the church grew and was involved in some significant events: organising visits of John Wimber, Paul Cain, Jack Deere and others; facilitating renewal in the mid 90′s; starting a Christian School, and a charity to care for people with learning disabilities, and planting some new churches.
In 1985 the Church bought and refurbished The King’s Hall. Community Church still occupies the building, and are once again in the process of updating the building for the needs of the “missional church” we are becoming.
In 2001 we experienced a time of significant disagreement over vision and values. After a lot of heart searching and difficult choices the church was re-formed, changing its name to Community Church Edinburgh. We received this painful beginning as an opportunity to grow and learn, developing our commitments and values and reshaping our leadership style and ethos of pastoral care.
Although we probably didn’t realise it at the time, it propelled us into asking some serious questions of the kind of church God is calling us to be in 21st century Edinburgh.
Our story is always unfolding as we seek to hear God’s voice, love one another, and engage with our wider communities: hopeful, excited, sometimes daunted, and not always sure of the map; but we know that the territory – the Kingdom of God – is there, underfoot.