Named after the saint who brought Christianity to the south of Scotland and an early Martyr whose Holy Well was renowned for miraculous cures in nearby Restalrig village, the parish church of St Ninian and St Triduana was opened on 6 January 1906 with Father Thomas Miley as its first parish priest.
This new mission was much needed since the population of Edinburgh had grown considerably and the two existing Catholic Churches, St Mary’s Cathedral and St Patrick’s in the Cowgate, could not cope with the increasing numbers. The original church was a wooden building at Kemp’s Corner but with the opening of the new housing estates of Lochend, Meadowbank, Dalgety and Craigentinny it soon proved too small for the growing Sunday attendance. Similarly the new St Ninian’s school was opened to serve the needs of the local Catholic families but soon proved too small for the numbers wishing to register.
A new St Ninian’s School was opened on 13 September 1932 and the main body of the present church was built and formerly consecrated on 28th May 1933. Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the church was never completed to the original plan due to the outbreak of WW II. Monsignor Miley served the parish till his death in 1938 and there have been ten parish priests faithfully working in the community since then.
The church was extensively renovated in the mid 1990s and a section of the nave was altered to serve as a hall. This is used for parish socials, meetings and coffee after Sunday Mass. In 2002 Marionville House, which previously had been the parish house was sold, and the Parish Priest is now resident in nearby 12 Marionville Drive.
In all the years since its foundation the parish of St Ninian’s continues to be a vibrant centre of the local community and a witness to Christian values in the east of Edinburgh.