CRANHILL PARISH CHURCH
Cranhill Parish Church has served the community of Cranhill in the east end of Glasgow for more than 60 years. The congregation have adapted to changing times. Cranhill is much smaller, and so is the congregation. Yet we look forward in hope. We share our building with Cranhill Development Trust, and both the congregation and the Trust are committed to helping to grow a thriving community where people flourish.
The congregation is made up of all sorts of folk of all ages. Our congregation is inclusive and welcoming, whoever you are, or whatever your situation. Worship on a Sunday at 11am is informal. We gather to worship God together through singing, prayer, Bible reading and exploring what the Living Word means for us today.
We value hospitality, listening, space to reflect in a busy world, care for Creation and trust in Jesus’ promise to be always with us.
All of us are on a journey, and it is good to have companions on the way.
Meet the team
I have served as minister for Cranhill Parish Church since December 2004. My job is never dull, and I love spending time with people. It is a privilege to be with people in the community, in the schools and nursing home and in folks’ homes. I am proud of the partnership between Cranhill Church and Cranhill Development Trust as we aim to create a thriving community. In my spare time I enjoy reading, photography and walking and spending time with family and friends.
My role as part-time family worker is varied and interesting with the main focus on supporting families to have a more positive life as individuals, as a family and as part of the community. I do this through different groups : cooking, arts and crafts. play and one to one advice sessions. I work in partnership with the schools, nurseries, Cranhill Development Trust and other agencies who can all refer families into the services. I facilitate "bite-size sessions" for parents on routines, bedtime reading, behaviour strategies or whatever issue the parent has identified. I consult with the families on their needs and what they would like and we write an action plan. Family Matters has been successful with funding for holiday playschemes and outings, taking the families to different places and experiencing different modes of transport much of which they could not afford to go to by themselves and giving them positive lasting memories.
I have been attending Cranhill Church since December 2004. Although our congregation is small In numbers, I find folks in Cranhill friendly and welcoming and always willing to help when they can. I became Session Clerk in March 2012. I am also the Safeguarding Coordinator and Presbytery Elder.
I work in a care setting so my focus is always on pastoral support. I enjoy attending Burlington Court Care Home once a month with the minister and others to provide a short service with them.
My hobbies are eating out, reading and walking. I love to catch up with family and friends.
Come along on a Sunday morning; speak to the minister, Muriel; speak to a friend or neighbour who is involved. Everybody is warmly welcomed.
Cranhill Development Trust
CDT grew out of a community project set up by Cranhill Parish church in 1997. It became a charity in 2001 and adopted the name Cranhill Development Trust in 2011. As an anchor organisation in Cranhill, CDT is open to all regardless of age, sex, creed, sexuality or ability. Its aims are
- To increase opportunities for self-development for the people of Cranhill
- To create a healthier Cranhill
- To improve provision of local services
- To develop a more vibrant Cranhill
CDT provides employability support, particularly for people who are not ready for work because of long term unemployment or low academic achievement. CDT recognises that people need to gain confidence and skills, meet friends and socialise and expand horizons and grow confidence. CDT relies on volunteers to support staff in the work club, lunch club, garden and community meals. CDT is always looking to create new initiatives building on the skills, ideas and aspirations of local people.
Open Monday to Friday 9 – 5, there is always a warm welcome, a listening ear and practical advice and support.
When the new housing scheme of Cranhill was built following World War 2, the Church of Scotland originally met in Startpoint Street School until the new hall-church was opened in March 1954. In June 1959 the church roll peaked at 1155 members, and there was a busy church life with regular youth services and church parades, concerts and displays. There was Girls’ Guildry and Boys’ Brigade, women’s fellowship and guild and a men’s club.
Despite falling rolls, a new sanctuary was commissioned and begun in 1964. Although the ‘round church’ was much loved, it was never really fit for purpose, with fixed pews and an often leaking roof. Cranhill had an aging population and many faithful members had moved on. As new residents moved in and drugs became a problem faced by many families in the community, the city council took the decision to drastically reduce the population from10,500 to 3,500. In the 1990’s the decision was made to bring down the round church and refurbish the original hall church. The congregation of Cranhill Church have always had an ‘outward looking focus’ with extensive mission to children and young people. As the congregation faced a changing community and a society also in flux, they worked with the Priority Areas committee of the Church of Scotland to develop a project which would respond to the current situation and Dorothy McLauchlan was appointed project development worker in 2001.
Soon after Dorothy’s arrival asylum seekers were housed by Glasgow City Council in flats adjacent to the church, and a major part of her work was to co-ordinate the welcome. English classes and social activities were started, and there were opportunities for local people and new arrivals to get to know one another.
Between 2002 and 2010 the focus on welcome and integration continued, and the project grew, taking a holistic approach to well-being which included a community café, healthy living activities, literacy and numeracy and social activities.
From 2008 to 2011, the congregation employed 2 art workers through the Out of the Box art project to engage with the community in school, in the nursing home and in the community flat, helping people discover their creative side and unlock hidden talent.
In 2011 a lease agreement was formed between Cranhill Development Trust (CDT) and the General Trustees giving CDT responsibility for managing the building and protecting the use of the building for the congregation. CDT is separately constituted from the Church.
The challenge of being a small congregation (43 on roll) in a busy building operated by another agency is the risk of invisibility; however most members of the congregation are involved in at least one aspect of the work of CDT, and there is a real sense of partnership. The family programmes in school holidays are organised by Eileen Usher, the family worker, with support from CDT staff and the café. The congregation and CDT are jointly part of the ‘Chance to thrive’ project of the Priority Areas Committee and the General Trustees with a wish to see a regenerated building in the heart of a regenerated Cranhill.
The congregation has seized the opportunity of being free of most building responsibility to concentrate on sharing God’s love and offer as many opportunities to relate to the wider community as possible. For example, the Girls’ Brigade, Crazy Church and the work of the family worker and the weekly chaplaincy work done in Cranhill Primary connects the congregation with many households. The congregation take heart from Jesus’ stories about yeast and mustard seeds.
In 2014 a new parish grouping was formally constituted with Garthamlock & Craigend East and Ruchazie and the staff team has worked hard to face challenges in relation to innovative mission and service. Since 2014 Eileen Usher, Family Matters Worker (0.5 MDS) has led some very successful playschemes with CDT as partner.
Looking to the future, the congregation hopes to continue Sunday worship and occasional mid-week house groups, and continue to grow connections with children and families through the work of the Family Worker. We hope that facing the future and addressing difficulties before they grow too large will continue to help us be relevant and creative in our mission and outreach. It is our aim to find out what God is doing in the neighbourhood and join in!