Our Church: Glasgow St Paul's Church - Alive in our worship, involved in our community

Rev Daniel Manastireanu looks at how a small congregation has flourished in the face of difficult times and is now reaching out to the community, thanks to some dedicated help and a new pizza oven.

A group of people from the congregation of St Paul's
The congregation of St Paul's Glasgow

Radically different

Glasgow St Paul's Church in Provanmill has a very simple mission statement: alive in our worship, involved in our community.

These simple words define the DNA of St Paul's - a church that opens its buildings every single day of the week not just for worship on a Sunday, but also for youth clubs run by St Paul's Youth Forum, the Growing Project, the Self Reliant Group, and now by the newly launched Blackhill on Bikes project to name just a few.

Our approach to worship is radically different to what some might expect: instead of rows we sit around tables; instead of a typical sermon we ask questions and have a conversation with people of all ages and walks of life.

We are a small congregation in a large majority Roman Catholic parish, but this doesn't stop St Paul's from being alive in worship, involved in the community.

Youth Forum

Through the excellent work of St Paul's Youth Forum lead by our youth team leader Neil Young (MDS) young people have a place to spend their evenings, investing in their future by gaining experience and qualifications in youth radio, in growing food in the polytunnels on church grounds, tending hens and bees, organising community meals etc.

The work of the Youth Forum impacts the whole community, not just young people, through a dignified approach to food poverty where young people can have a direct involvement and have a say in what is done and how.

An event at St Paul's
At the launch of Blackhill On Bikes

Blackhill on Bikes

Sign saying Blackhill on Bikes

On Saturday 24th June we welcomed Mr Patrick Harvie MSP who launched the Blackhill on Bikes project at the start of the Blackhill Community Fun Day. We were thrilled to have hundreds of people in the community come through our building to have a taste and experience all the exciting things that are happening on sight.

The outdoor pizza oven proved to be very popular despite the windy weather. People of all ages came to see our hens, enjoy pony rides, bouncy castles, games, meet the local police, get their bikes fixed, listen to live music and have a great time with others in the local community.

A dedicated group

All these things are possible because a small and vulnerable congregation wanted to open their buildings to their community and do their best to meet people's needs.

The amount of work and personal investment is phenomenal, backed up with lots of enthusiasm and talent of staff and volunteers alike.

A congregation which was told time and time again that they will not make it financially into the next year is proving that faith and resolve of church members should never be underestimated.

Against all odds and with few resources and help from external funders St Paul's is working hard to be the body of Christ in its community, communicating and demonstrating God's love for all people in tangible ways, determined to stay true to its mission despite all the difficulties that are in the way.