MSP unveils transformation of Parkhead Salvation Army building

published on 3 Nov 2014

[Captains Allan and Linda Dunlop with John Mason MSP]

A Glasgow MSP cut the ribbon on The Salvation Army's revamped church in Parkhead - then praised the charity for "touching people's lives in ways governments and councils cannot".

John Mason MSP yesterday (2 November) officially unveiled the transformed building on Tollcross Road, which has been hailed as a "beacon of hope" by local residents and businesses.

Gone are the metal grills over the windows and in their place is a stunning floor-to-ceiling glass front that is lit up at night.

Mr Mason said: "If I went into the East End of Glasgow and asked which part of the Christian Church really cares about people’s spiritual life and wants to help them in a practical way, a lot would say The Salvation Army.

"Some people may say this is 2014 and we live in one of the richest countries in the world, surely there's not the same need for The Salvation Army and others to be helping.

"I'm afraid there is real need. I very much value the work of The Salvation Army in Parkhead. Its work is hugely needed. Governments and councils can only touch the surface of people's lives but The Salvation Army can touch at a much deeper level."

The Salvation Army in Parkhead was one of the earliest corps in Scotland. It was established in 1886 before moving into its current building in 1907.

Church leaders Captains Linda and Allan Dunlop say they had been overwhelmed by the reaction of the community to the new-look building.

Captain Linda said: "People have commented on how brave The Salvation Army is in removing the metal grills and installing a glass front. But we see a real sense of togetherness in Parkhead.

"We have spoken to local people who all agree it is a joy to behold. We were worried the neighbours would object to our plan to light the building up a night but. However, they have been fantastic. Some have even said they see it as a beacon of hope taking them from the darkness into the light.

"On a more practical level it gives us a better presence in the community. Before, people may have thought we were closed but now they can see what we are all about. We are dedicated to caring for people who are vulnerable or in need. 

"People will receive a friendly welcome at our church, and our community programmes continue to run as normal. Along with our Sunday worship, we run a drop-in, a parent and toddlers group, and an over-50s fellowship group."