Nitekirk - Free

Setting up within the whitewashed walls of Greyfriars Church, Nitekirk is a gentle affair. This admirable project provides calm, care and community to those wayfarers wearied by the trials of the fringe through a number of interactive meditation stations. Whilst this is by no means a must-visit, around which to plan an evening, a quick visit leaves one in a much more wholesome frame of mind, and helps to enrich a wider festival experience.

Funded by a number of local churches, Nitekirk is modelled after a similar project successfully established in Copenhagen. With the theme of a ‘time for stillness’, Nitekirk includes such features as a creativity table, bedecked with a plethora of arts and crafts materials; long, cruciform sandpits in which to place a tealight and trace a pattern; and small, serene water features with which to sit and think. Forming the centrepiece of this space is a circle strewn in silk, within which lies a pool of cool water ringed by plush cushions and bronze platters bearing tiny, closed-up paper flowers, which blossom when inserted into the central bowl. The repeated motif of circles throughout – in the rings of seats, in the circuitous sequence of activity stations – is ideal for generating a sense of quiet community. The church interior, lit by low lighting and candles peppered across the floor, automatically eases one into a state of relaxation.

In the atrium upon exiting, the handful of Presbyterian ministers by which the Nitekirk is run offer visitors a cup of tea and a friendly chat and truly succeed in fostering a sense of care. Whilst perhaps a rather dramatic counterpoint to the peace of the event, the fact that Greyfriars lies atop a small knoll allows for a wonderful view of the fireworks as the Tattoo comes to a climax, made all the better by clasping a cuppa in hand.

Nitekirk is not a place to visit if you’re looking for laughs and japes, or expect to be entertained. Nevertheless, it offers a worthy and potentially valuable place of retreat to regenerate amid the carnage of the Fringe and I’d definitely recommend a visit in future.

Reviews by Jack Powell

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

The Blurb

A place to be in a fast moving world. Sacred space to wander, interacting with poetry, art, music, candles, silence, refreshments, chat. Welcoming people of any background, age or belief. Drop in as you wish. www.greyfriarskirk.com/nitekirk

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