The Methodist Church building on Nicolson Square has until recently been one of four Methodist churches in Edinburgh. In 2009 the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church (CEMC) commissioned a study of their existing assets with a view to rationalising and creating new accommodation to serve one single congregation, either by reconfiguring an existing church or development of a new building which would reflect the 21st century needs of the Methodist Church. Nicolson Square was recommended as the locus for CEMC as it is located in the heart of Edinburgh Old Town and carries its own Category 'A' listing. The recommendation was subsequently accepted and Nicolson Square was set to become the new home for CEMC.
As a result, new demands were placed upon the building, since the congregations of a number of Methodist churches in the city now meet together jointly. The result is our £2.5m refurbishment and extension project which links the previously separated Church and Epworth Halls as a single amenity. The buildings are at split levels and are joined in the rear courtyard at the pivot point between the two premises by a glazed lift and small conservatory. A new mezzanine is inserted within the Epworth Halls, creating a common top floor level between buildings. In the church, an enlarged entrance vestibule and new half staircase provides pedestrian and visual connection between buildings. A series of new display spaces are also defined by vertical planes in the sanctuary gallery.
The second phase works are expected to open to the public in January 2014.