Kirk on the Canal wins a £50k funds float

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A scheme to bring the church to the people - via the Union Canal - is said to have taken “a huge step forward” with a £50,000 grant.

A project called All Aboard won the cash from the Ecclesiastical Insurance Movement for Good scheme, after a barge was hired to see if the idea could work in practice.

According to the Church of Scotland the idea proved a big hit, and the money will help to fund what will now be a three-year project.

Chris Pitt, group corporate responsibility manager at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said: “People Know How is an important charity in Scotland that helps disadvantaged children fulfil their potential.

“It is a partnership with a church and another charity that demonstrates how organisations can work together to achieve even better results.

“The £50,000 grant will help to double the reach of People Know How’s services and help them to form partnerships with at least 12 new schools.

“What really caught the judge’s attention was the fact that this will be delivered on a barge on Edinburgh’s Union Canal, which means that the programme will also help to invigorate the canal and celebrate its heritage.”

Rev Jack Holt, minister of Polwarth Parish Church in Edinburgh, said the grant award underlined the “value” of the ambitious community plans, which have been recognised in the House of Commons and Scottish Parliament.

He said he was “encouraged and hopeful” that applications to other grant funding bodies would be approved to enable the “The Kirk on the Canal” to buy a vessel next year and moor it at the building’s pontoon near Harrison Park.

It has been estimated that it will cost £271,000 to run the project over three years.

The congregation has raised £32,000 and hopes to secure a £45,000 grant from the Church of Scotland’s Go For It fund.