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Community Church, Glasgow, Scotland
Community Church, Glasgow, Scotland.
Independent, but linked to Ichthus
Christian Fellowship and part of the Scottish
Functional and not pretty on the outside, but the main hall
and foyer feel warm and welcoming on the inside. The building
was purpose-built for the Christian community in the late 70s
and has that type of architecture. It currently has water problems
in the basement where the playgroup and crèche are normally
situated, but there are many other rooms for children’s work
and offices and the like. The main hall has a wide stage, with
a few colourful decorations mainly focussing around the cross.
There were three highly polished planks of wood taken from the
same tree, with crosses artfully etched into them, hung behind
the centre stage – very original artwork.
The church was born in the early 1970s out of a group of teenagers
meeting together to seek God and then look outward to show Jesus
to others. They actually constructed the building, its road,
a number of houses and a block of flats themselves. The road
sign has the church pictured on it (which I guess is possible
when you build the road yourselves). Today the church puts a
lot of emphasis on meeting together and praying, on children
and families, and on evangelism. This sounds quite Christ-like
Bishopbriggs is an area to the north of Glasgow, within easy
commuting distance, but also well on the way to the picturesque
Campsie Fells, the hills that dominate Glasgow to the north.
Rob Martin led the service, Irene Barrie preached, and Alistair
(no surname given) led the sung worship. Grant Campbell, the
community pastor, and others shared some encouraging stories.
The date & time:
21 March 2010, 10.30am.
What was the name of the service?
Sunday Morning at 10.30.
How full was the building?
Around three-quarters full, about 120 people. The back half
was packed. The right section mainly included young families.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Christina (again, no surname) welcomed us at the door and gave
us a news sheet. A chap named Fraser came up to us before the
service to tell us about the arrangements for the children.
A few other people said hello and generally made us feel welcome.
Was your pew comfortable?
The chairs were cushioned and comfortable without being sofa-like,
but not great for those with large bottoms. They are the type
you find in a lot of conferences. There was not a lot of room
between the rows, so any potential dancing during the worship
was restricted to sideways movement and the aisles.
How would you describe the pre-service
The band was practising at the front of the hall as we went
in and then spent a good 10 minutes praying for each other.
There was an increasing amount of chatter as more people entered
the hall, and this did not really die down as Rob Martin tried
to begin the service.
What were the exact opening words of the
"Good morning. Can I encourage you to take your seats?" After
this Rob continued to talk for awhile whilst working out sound
issues, but it felt like no one was listening and everyone was
continuing to chat. The atmosphere quietened when Rob got a
child in the row in front of us to repeat a memory verse (correctly)
What books did the congregation use during the
None. Words were on the screen for the songs. The Bible (New
International Version, I think) was read out from during the
service, but Bibles were not issued to the congregation.
What musical instruments were played?
Keyboard, rhythm and lead guitars, bass, drums, and (occasionally)
a flute. A full band with two backing singers. The worship leader,
Alistair, was also playing the rhythm guitar.
Did anything distract you?
All the chatter and children's noise at the beginning of the
service in addition to the problems with the microphones/sound.
Whispered but audible prayer at the back during the sermon.
The band fiddling with their musical instruments whilst someone
was talking. The bouncy hair of the excited preacher Irene.
The two boys in front of us hitting each other during the sung
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip,
happy clappy, or what?
It was happy-clappy without clapping. There were many hands
in the air, expressive dancing and flag waving. People sang
with gusto, and the band led most of the songs very well without
being too overbearing. Grant Campbell, the community pastor,
did not contribute much from the front, but he did say that
he thought people should be sharing stories and remembering
to listen to them too. After this, six people from the congregation
took up the challenge and told stories, clearly showing that
Jesus is alive and at work today.
Exactly how long was the
On a scale of 1-10, how
good was the preacher?
7 Irene Barrie was really excited about God: God healing
people, people's stories, people meeting with God, pretty much
everything she talked about. This meant that she moved and smiled
a lot and her hair seemed to bob up and down. She described
her own preaching style as a good Scottish dance, which starts
off structured but moves into a happy chaos, with no one quite
sure what is going to come next. I'd go along with that.
In a nutshell, what was the sermon
Heroes of faith, part of a series on Hebrews 11. Irene was specifically
talking about Enoch, who is well remembered despite only featuring
in about four verses in the whole Bible. She wanted people to
go away putting the concept of "by faith" into practice. Take
a few risks. Ask what God can do through you for other people.
Which part of the service was like being in
Singing "Hosanna" and "Power of Your Love". Hearing excited
people's stories of God healing others and themselves. Irene's
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
The start of the service, when the leader was not being noticed
or listened to. The ongoing issues with the sound.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
The service ended quite fluidly and so we flowed out of the
hall like most of the other people. We got a drink and a biscuit
and looked at notice boards for around three minutes before
we were spoken to by Rob (the leader of the service), a woman
named Debbie, and another lady. The conversation flowed well
with each of them, leaving us feeling "met". On another day,
however, we might have left after looking at the first notice
How would you describe the after-service
Their notice board proclaims them to be a fair trade church.
The squash (in plastic cups) was nice. There was a selection
of biscuits readily available in a large tupperware tub. The
tea was lovely but in a polystyrene cup.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
9 If we were not committed elsewhere and lived closer,
we would make it our regular church. They even have a crèche
where you can leave your baby, and the baby is happy over an
hour later when you go back for him!
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
The stories and Irene's smile(and hair).
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