Bellshill Salvation Army celebrates A Fresh Start

published on 15 Apr 2014

Bellshill Salvation Army is celebrating a fresh start after opening the doors to its stunning £1.3million community hall. 

It has recently completed the 10-month building programme – and commanding officers Majors Chris and Lynda Connelly say they are delighted to be in their new base of operations. 

And the married couple, who have three children and three grandchildren, believe the new building will become an asset for the whole community in Bellshill. 

The new centre boasts a state-of-the-art worship hall with big screens and full band set-up, a kitchen, dining room and outdoor recreational area.

Majors Chris and Lynda help run a number of activities - including a mum's and tots class, and lunch club - with a youth club and arts group on the way. The centre also has its own emergency vehicle that is used to help feed homeless people in Glasgow every weekend. 

Major Chris said: “We’re excited to be in the new building and preparing to getting started with our plans for it. 

“This as a great opportunity for the corps and the community as a whole. The building will play an important role in the development of our church and community work, and we will look to incorporate a range of activities to meet the needs of local people.” 

The Salvation Army has a long history of offering spiritual and practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need in every community and has been serving the town of Bellshill for almost 120 years. 

During the building project the corps relocated to Bellshill Baptist Church at Neilson Street for its week-day programmes and to the Bellshill Cultural Centre at John Street for its Sunday Worship Meeting. Despite the upheaval, The Salvation Army remained very much part of the local community during this period, continuing the range of programmes and activities offered through the church.

The development of the property forms part of the long term strategic vision for The Salvation Army’s West Scotland Division with a similar project planned for Glasgow city centre this year. 

Major Russell Wyles, Divisional Leader of The Salvation Army in the West of Scotland, said: “We recognised the needs of the community in Bellshill. The investment being made in the refurbishment and development of the building will afford us an exciting opportunity to demonstrate our belief of changing people’s lives within communities and enhance the already strong ties we have with residents of the local area.”