CityofEdinburghEDINBURGHPolwarthParishChurch(penelopemarksCC-BY-SA2.0)1 PenelopeMarks

Polwarth Parish Church

The Kirk on the Canal; a place of wholeness and well being, a light to the nations.

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

Opening times

Contact the church office to arrange a visit
Access can also be arranged when the Pop Up Cafe is open and when the Canal Shed is in session Wednesdays.
Visits are welcome at all times that can be arranged by special appointment.


Polwarth Terrace
City of Edinburgh
EH11 1LU

Polwarth Church is a Grade B listed building built in 1901 in the Gothic style adjacent to the Union Canal.

It has many interesting architectural features including a Forster & Andrews 1903 fully working organ, the Murray prayer aisle, a gallery, a tower, green men gargoyles and an original pulpit.

There are beautiful stained glass windows including a Clayton & Bell ascension window. The original pews were removed in 2002 but some can be seen in the gallery, the choir stalls and at the back of the sanctuary. Painted on the floor is a labyrinth which provides a focus for meditation, peace and prayerfulness when it is walked.

There are two halls which are used for many community activities by all ages and abilities. The Canal Shed has its base here and offers activities including woodwork, recycling, upcycling, computer skills, gardening and creative crafts. There is a Pop Up Café which is open on Tuesdays for those who may feel isolated and lonely.

The outside grounds are extensive and the Canalside Garden gives access to the Union Canal and our pontoon which can moor three canal boats. Our 'All Aboard' project is planning to purchase a broadbeam canal boat this summer to moor at our pontoon, offering exciting opportunities to all ages and abilities within our congregation and community.

Beside this is a newly created Peace Garden (created 2019) which is dedicated to WWI nurses and medical staff who transported injured WWI personnel by barge in France and Flanders. The Tranquillity Garden honours the WWI war poet Wilfred Owen. Veterans of both World Wars are honoured at our memorials and we are linked with veterans who live in Edinburgh, some of whom have worked to create our gardens.

A visit to the Kirk on the Canal is not to be missed whether photographing the beautiful architecture, eating in the cafe, walking the labyrinth, sitting in the Peace Garden beside the canal or watching the fish, ducks, swans and otters swimming by.

All are welcome.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Wifi

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Ramp or level access available on request

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Café in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Sunday: Choir 9.30am to 10.30am; Morning Worship 11am to 12 noon.

  • Monday: French Toddler Group 9.30am to 12 noon; Guid Blethers 2pm to 4pm 1st & 3rd of month; Guild 2pm to 4pm 2nd & 4th of month; Rainbows/Brownies 6pm to 7pm; Guides 7.15pm to 9pm.

  • Tuesday: Weight Watchers 10am to 11am; Pop Up Cafe 10am to 1.30pm; Scrabble 2pm to 4pm; Country Dancing 7.30pm 9.30pm.

  • Wednesday: Canal Shed 10am to 1pm; Baby & Toddler Group 2.30pm to 4pm; Weight Watchers 6pm to 7pm.

  • Thursday: Zumba 9.30am to 10.30am & 10.30am to 11.30am; Baby & Toddler Group 3pm to 4.30pm; Clubbercise 6.45pm to 7.45pm; Hatha Yoga 8.30pm to 9.30pm.

  • Friday: Capacitar 10.30am to 11.30am 1st & 3rd of month.

  • Saturday: Who let the dads out? 10am to 11.30am 1st of month.

  • Church of Scotland

  • Foundation Grant, £1,600, 2019

  • Our Foundation Grants fund urgent maintenance work and small repairs to help keep churches open.

Contact information

CityofEdinburghEDINBURGHPolwarthParishChurch(penelopemarksCC-BY-SA2.0)1 PenelopeMarks

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