St John's Church

Edinburgh, Scotland

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A thriving church in the heart of Edinburgh has opened the doors to an expanded and enhanced hub for the local community, with the help of a CAF Bank loan.

Nestling at the foot of Edinburgh Castle, the Church of St. John the Evangelist is a landmark listed building, bringing together a vibrant community with an outward-looking ethos.

While a beautiful place of worship, the church’s facilities have struggled in recent years to keep pace with the needs of the growing number of building users; church staff, charities, support bodies and children’s groups, to name a few.

The church’s vision of creating a welcoming community hub, called the Cornerstone Centreunderpinned plans to upgrade and expand the building. Designed to be flexible, disability friendly and kind to the environment, this new facility houses a multi-purpose events hall, meeting and office space, café and shops, central staircase and lift, and upgraded heating system.


Fundraising for the project started in 2008, following the church’s consultations on its plans with members and users. Supporters’ donations and grants funded most of the £3.5 million project costs. A secured loan from CAF Bank enabled St John’s to complete the project in early 2018.

Wren Hoskyns-Abrahall, Treasurer of St John’s, explains why the church approached CAF Bank to secure the remaining funding required:

“Our fundraising had been very successful thanks to the efforts of the members of St John’s and the generosity of donors, but we realised that we would need a commercial loan to give us the confidence to give the go ahead to start building work. Our first port of call was our bankers, one of which was CAF Bank. We liked the supportive approach they took to the project, so when we received their offer of finance we were able to press the button”.

The official opening of its new Cornerstone Centre marks the 200th anniversary of St John's.



The official opening of St John’s Cornerstone Centre took place in May 2018, at a ceremony which also marked the church’s 200th anniversary.

Welcoming people into this beautiful community hub will usher in a new chapter for St John’s, as the Rev Markus Dünzkofer, Rector of St John’s explains:

“The new facilities, which are a great change, bring enormous opportunities for the St John’s community. As well as enabling us to pursue our own programming and formation for all age groups in a more accessible way and provide a hospitable venue for our inter-religious festival in the summer, they will offer an affordable, friendly and inclusive space to a wide cross-section of residents from our capital city. Diverse groups and businesses will be able to rent our rooms for all kinds of meetings and enjoy the offerings of our new bistro. And the new church offices will bring increased efficiency and a great working environment for our staff”.


Is your church looking to grow or upgrade its building facilities? Find out if repayable finance could help fund your future plans. Contact our charity loan experts for a free consultation or download CAF's free guide.

CAF Bank loans are non-regulated products.

Loan applications subject to credit assessment. Security will be required.

Charity assets may be at risk if you do not keep up with the repayments for a mortgage, loan or any other debt secured on them.

If you're thinking of consolidating existing borrowing, you should be aware that you may be extending the term of the debt and increasing the total amount you pay.

CAF Bank Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register number: 204451).

CAF Bank Limited Registered office is 25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4JQ. Registered in England and Wales under number 1837656.