St Mark’s a unique Georgian building which sits in its own graveyard and garden and is an iconic building in Portobello. In 2005 a temporary ramp was purchased to enable level access to the building. The gradient did not meet modern health and safety requirements, it was beginning to rust and become loose and it detracted from the beauty of the building. Design was complicated by the topography of the ground which falls away swiftly from the church building to the main road.
There were a few unexpected construction problems and costs rose during the project. It was discovered that there is a large cavity beneath the existing steps which meant that the stone work could not be repositioned as hoped; there were also problems with exact levels from the topographic survey, which meant that some of the calculations for gradients needed to be revisited.

A planned opening went ahead at the end of September 2023, bringing together congregation members who worship on a Wednesday, with the Rt Revd John Armes, bishop of Edinburgh and representatives from the major donor, the TOR Christian Trust.
Unfortunately on this day, the top surface of the ramp had not been completed, but a member of the congregation cut the ribbon and we were able to use the ramp with caution.The Ramp was finally completed at the end of November 2023.
It has transformed the frontage of the church, restoring the beauty of the Georgian building, as well as providing an exceptionally safe and inclusive entrance into the church. The profile of the ramp has increased the turning circle at the top of the graveyard which makes it easier for cars with the elderly to get to the front of the church.

The Congregation paid for 21% of the cost of the ramp and is so grateful for the generousity of:

  • The TOR Christian Trust
  • The Garfield Weston Foundation
  • The Baird Trust
  • The Scottish Episcopal Church
  • The Listed Places of Worship Scheme