Salvation Army’s second in command set to officially open £1.3m Bellshill community hall

published on 23 Jun 2014

The Salvation Army’s Chief of the Staff will today officially open a new £1.3million community hall on the outskirts of Glasgow.

The church and charity in Bellshill recently completed a 10-month building programme to transform its corps building.

To mark this historic occasion, Commissioner William Roberts - the second in command of The Salvation Army internationally – and his wife Commissioner Nancy Roberts will jet into Scotland later this afternoon to cut the ribbon on the stunning new hall before enjoying a weekend of prayer and celebration.

Commissioners William and Nancy will join Bellshill corps officers Majors Chris and Lynda Connelly, who say their new base of operations is an asset for the whole community.

Major Chris said: “We’re excited to be in the new building and have already started on 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 in Bellshill and has been serving the town 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 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. The centre also has its own emergency vehicle that is used to help feed homeless people in Glasgow every weekend. At present there are a number of activities underway - such as a mum's and tots class, a lunch club - with a youth club and arts group on the horizon.

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.”