The Grassmarket Community Project by Reverend Richard Frazer

I am really glad you now have the bookcase. I have also put the date for your Ragged Talk into my diary. I have another meeting at 6pm that evening, but I am hoping that all being well I can slip away and join you. Meanwhile, how about the following as a we explanation of our philosophy and the Grassmarket Project ethos?…

“If developing our skills makes us happy, why do we make so much room in our lives for devices that eliminate the need to develop skills?” Carmela Federico

Greyfriars Kirkyard

The Grassmarket Community Project emerged out of a conviction that skill, artisanship and entrepreneurial flair is within the reach of almost everyone. Merely to maintain people without productive work or the expectation that they have something to contribute to wider society is a tragedy for us all.

Greyfriars Recycling of Wood

GRoW  is a part of the Grassmarket Community Project, a place where people learn the skills of the master craftsman. The workshop echoes the artisan workshops of the past where everyone from the person who sweeps up to the one who turns a leg on the lathe has a hand in the finished product. (Was that painting by Da Vinci or one of his school?)
Furniture making, woodcarving and wood turning is carried on to the highest standard using mainly discarded church pews made from the finest quality timber. People are mentored and supported as some go on a journey from having no expectation of any ability whatsoever and sometimes very low self-esteem to the point where they become mentors to others, learning design, geometry arithmetic and aesthetics along the way.
Such skills stay with people throughout their lives and people regularly surprise themselves as they come from sometimes chaotic and unstructured lives into an environment where there is pressure to deliver high quality products on time and to the highest specification. The workshop is now one of Edinburgh’s most successful social enterprises both in terms of financial sustainability and the numbers of people moving on to positive destinations.

You are welcome to visit the Grassmarket Community Project at any time, the public café is open from 10am – 4pm each day and there are opportunities to browse our products, meet our members and become involved.


Reverend Richard Frazer

Greyfriars Kirk

1 Greyfriars Place