Where we came from

1826: David Nasmith started Glasgow City Mission – pioneering holistic Christian care.

1828: There were 20 missionaries, including five who were fluent in Gaelic who could talk with people moving to Glasgow from the Highlands.

1831: We started ground breaking ‘chimney sweep schools’ for children who were working at the expense of their education.

1857: Prisoners were put on probation with the understanding that a missionary would keep in close touch with them – taking on the role of early day probation officers.

1926: Our mission halls were all in the poorest parts of the city including Parkhead, Maryhill and Govan. Each missionary was in charge of a hall.

1931: We had club rooms in Govan for unemployed young people, with a membership of more than 2,000. Activities included games and classes in woodwork, shorthand and book keeping.

1939: During the war we set up a hostel for troops on leave. There was accommodation, a canteen and a reading room. By the end of 1942, an estimated 50,000 people had received accommodation.

1960s: Unemployment was rife and we continued to distribute food parcels, clothes and coal.

1979: We started a night patrol, with staff and volunteers talking and praying on the streets with people who were sleeping rough. We handed out hot drinks and sandwiches.

1981: Working with people affected by homelessness became our focus. The Maryhill Mission Hall opened as a night shelter each Tuesday and served hot food and drinks on Wednesdays.

1987: Our Child and Family Centre started in Govan in an area of new and renovated houses. We ran a crèche and playgroup.

1997: The Shieling (which means a hut in a wild or lonely place) opened twice a week and ran an evening Drop-in with an NHS medical centre. Food was given out from a van on Fridays. Gradually more services were added, including lunch clubs.

2009: Our City Centre Project moved into its current location at Crimea Street – giving us the scope to expand the services on offer.

2010: We open the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter for the first time.

David Nasmith
Sailors from WWII
Mission Hall