Who we are


Our minister is Rev Peter Nelson.

I have been the minister of St John's Colinton Mains since 2015 and since
then I have enjoyed getting to know this part of the city, its community
and its people. As the minister I lead the church as we seek to grow together in faith and as we share the good news of God's grace and love.

The rest of my time is taken up with my role as School Chaplain to ESMS, family life and as a native of Edinburgh, supporting one of the Edinburgh football teams.

If you’d like to find out more about our church, please get in touch here.

Our vision as a congregation is:

Our Goal is growing - Growing in love for God, each other and our neighbour

  1. Growing in Love for God

Matthew 22:37&38 - “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Our goal is to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We seek to know and understand the truth contained in the Bible and grow in dependence on Him.

  1. Growing in love for each other

John 15:12 - “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you”

Our goal is for our own lives to reflect the character of Christ. We seek to grow in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience with one another as we unite in our love for Him.

  1. Growing in love for our neighbour

Matthew 22:39 - “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself”

Our goal is not only to ‘grow up’ and ‘grow in’ but also to ‘grow out’. We seek to have an effect on the community in which we live so that the lives of others will be touched by the Good News of the Gospel.

We want every aspect of our church life to reflect our vision statement, recognising that, although we aspire to spiritual growth, only God can produce fruit in our Church life and witness.


The mission priorities are:

families with young children

the care of the elderly and isolated

the development of evangelism,

and shared working of the whole communities of Colinton Mains, Firrhill and Oxgangs.


Mission Steering Group

Our Mission Steering Group considers all aspects of our Vision, Mission and Strategy from a spiritual leadership perspective.  This Group is responsible to the Kirk Session and considers how we develop the spiritual aspects of church life and witness, and identify different opportunities for the church’s presence in our community to grow and seek to serve and respond to our community’s needs. 

The remit of the Mission Steering Group includes Discipleship, Worship, Pastoral Care, Fellowship and Community Links.  Communication activities, including our website, correspondence, other leaflets and publications, cover all the above Mission activities.


Kirk Session

The members of the Kirk Session are the charity trustees, and comprise nineteen elders who are chosen as members of the church as spiritual leaders and are considered to have the appropriate gifts and skills.   The Minister chairs the Kirk Session which meets regularly throughout the year and is responsible for the spiritual and temporal affairs within the church. 

Responsibilities for Stewardship, Finance, Fabric and Social are addressed through separate working groups.


Presbytery Mission Plan (“the Plan”)

One of the major areas of focus for our church leadership is in implementing the Plan, which forms part of the restructuring of churches across Scotland.  The Plan envisages a proposal for four local churches:  St John’s Colinton Mains, Greenbank, Fairmilehead and Morningside working towards a form of collaboration, the framework of which needs to be determined by early Summer 2024.  There are currently ongoing discussions between representatives of the four churches to consider different options for closer working and collaboration. There are opportunities to create new relationships as we seek to find a basis for working together in the future.

We continue to have existing relationships with Craiglockhart church and Oxgangs Community Church which provide opportunities for outreach into our community.


St John’s Colinton Mains was formed as a union of two churches on 1 January 2014 – from the former St John’s Oxgangs and Colinton Mains Parish churches.

The two former churches have histories stretching back to the 1950s, when they were established to serve the needs of the rapidly expanding local communities.

The current parish includes the areas of Firhill, Colinton Mains, Oxgangs and Hunters Tryst.

The church building was opened in 1954 and is a B-listed building.  The church is located in the centre of the parish.  The former St John’s church building was sold for commercial development in July 2016. 

The new combined parish of St John’s Colinton Mains lies in the south-west of the city due south of Craiglockhart Hill and in the shadow of the Pentland Hills.   It is primarily suburban residential in character comprising:

- in Colinton Mains both inter-war four-in-a-block housing and post-war council housing of terraced villas and three and four storey flats;

- in Oxgangs – a mixed estate of three and four storey tenements and terraced and semi-detached villas, many of which have been sold under right-to-buy scheme.  

- to the south lies the private housing areas of New Swanston and Caiystane while between the two is the army married quarters of Dreghorn;

- in recent years the landmark multi-storey flats in Firrhill were demolished and have been replaced with modern low-rise housing.