GCC Building Refurbishment Project
Great news! The new heating system & lift have both been installed.
The 3 charities who use the GCC building – Glasgow City Church itself – an international church, Street Connect reaching out to people who are homeless and in addiction, and Asian church Emmanuel Christian Ministries who also run “Helping Hands” support services for refugees – plan to celebrate the opening of the building’s new heating system and lift on Sunday 24th May – Ascension Day (no pun intended 😊)
The new lift enables people with limited mobility to access the main sanctuary on the 1st & 2nd floors floor where GCC and ECM worship and where ECM holds after school classes for refugee children. It also allows easy access to Street Connect offices & meeting rooms on the 1st & 3rd floors so that people in need can receive support there even if they are ill or disabled, also allowing volunteers with mobility issues to help with office-based work. The lift has visual & audio alerts to help the deaf & blind use it safely and is linked in with our fire alarm system for automatic safe descent in the event of a fire.
The new heating system should allow the building to be heated efficiently and at a lower cost than before, with zoned areas so that we will only need to heat the parts being used on any one day, releasing the money saved to be used for other charitable purposes. There are still snagging issues – please be patient. Having a warm building is of especial benefit to the many refugees coming from warmer climates who particularly feel the cold and to homeless people so they can warm up from being on the streets. These improvements were funded by a £88,244 grant from FCC Communities Foundation and a £5,000 grant from the Baird Trust. We have also been able to reclaim VAT on the heating from the Listed Places of Worship scheme saving us over £10,000.
Rev Alistair Matheson. Minister of Glasgow City Church is delighted that the facilities are now in use.
He says: “This vital facility is going to make a real difference to those who use it, as well as the wider Glasgow community. We are extremely grateful to FCC Communities Foundation for providing the majority of the funding as we would not have been able to go ahead without its support.”
FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund. Since 1998, FCC Communities Foundation has granted over £200m to more than 7,000 projects which benefit people living within 10 miles of a FCC Environment landfill site.
“We’re also very grateful to the Baird Trust & to those in the congregations who have donated to this cause.”
This project has taken well over a year to realise, so we are delighted everything is now installed & hope it will be soon be up and running.
Glasgow City Church is a 4 storey C-listed building. Right on its doorstep is Glasgow City Centre, a mecca for the homeless begging on the streets, many of them suffering from complex problems including addiction & mental health issues. Glasgow receives the largest number of homeless applications in Scotland and also has the highest rates of drug & alcohol addiction. The City of Glasgow has the 2nd highest number of refugees per head of population in the UK with refugees from Asia, the Middle East & Africa.
This building is the home of 3 charities offering timely help & support with today’s issues:
Glasgow City Church (Apostolic Church) is an outward looking multinational city centre church, with a congregation of around 40 nationalities, old & young, and a socioeconomic mix ranging from homeless and unemployed to academic and professional. As an international congregation they engage with international students and with the homeless as neighbours they set up Street Connect.
Street Connect work with the homeless & those in multiple deprivation, specialising in addiction treatment, part of a holistic service which also encompasses help with the many causes & effects of homelessness & deprivation. They are based in the church building with offices on 2 floors to host their 19 staff and an interview room for 1-2-1 support work. They do street outreach to the homeless locally 3 times a week and the church café is used as an outreach café on a Saturday night as well as for recovery groups 3 days a week. They also offer befriending, community detox, referrals to residential rehab and to other statutory & 3rd sector organisations as well as aftercare for people post-rehab. Expanding beyond the city centre they now also have work in Possilpark, Clydebank, Paisley, Greenock & Blackwood.
Emmanuel Christian Ministries, a thriving Asian church with services in Tamil & English, reaches out to ethnic minorities with multi-lingual support, especially refugees and asylum seekers. They run a food bank, offer employment training & well-being classes for refugees, ESOL classes and after school tuition for refugee children – all held at the church.