Ryan & Erin Long
Ben & Faith Newton
The InnerCHANGE Glasgow team was launched in September 2013 by six people who relocated to the inner suburb of Possilpark, North Glasgow. The team emerged over the previous five years as a church plant called Clay Community Church, whose leaders, Esther and Paul Ede, were involved in establishing the existing work. The new InnerCHANGE team is committed to working alongside and helping to grow Clay Church in one of Scotland’s most marginalised communities.
Glasgow is the most multicultural city in Scotland. It's a UK asylum-seeker city with a rich history in both manufacturing and missions. And today God is doing a new thing as well.
Today Glasgow is a post-industrial city reinventing itself as a hub of sustainable energy technologies and tourism, but it still carries a legacy of poverty inherited from as far back as the Highland Clearances and the Industrial Revolution. It is known as the “sick man of Europe”, with very discouraging health and mortality rates in its poorest communities alongside rich cultural innovation. Several Turner Prize winning artists have emerged from Glasgow in recent years and its music scene is vibrant.
Why North Glasgow and Possilpark?
North and East Glasgow contain both the areas of greatest poverty in the city and the lowest church presence. Possil in particular has the most deprived postal codes in a city with the worst life-expectancy in the UK, but it also has a rich and innovative culture of grassroots projects and initiatives.
Possil has a strong and proud identity at the heart of 20th century industrialism. Its people have a hard-working and creative instinct, and a committed core who work hard to improve the community in the face of difficult circumstances.
Possilpark is emerging from a devastating couple of decades as an abandoned place of Empire following the collapse of its founding industries. It became the heroin capital of Scotland, destroying a generation of men of women’s lives and in many cases leaving their children to be raised by their grandparents.
In recent years Possil has become increasingly multi-cultural, with Polish, Chinese, and African immigrants making their home here, as well as the establishment of a Nigerian Pentecostal church and a Tamil Hindu Temple.
Our ministry focuses primarily on relationship-building, discipleship, and community care. Activities include:
- Being good neighbours by investing relationally in both the lives of our neighbours and the development of the local community
- Supporting the growth of Clay Community Church
- Discipling local men and women toward Jesus
- Operating a “shop-front ministry-hub” called The Grove which has a proud history of urban mission amongst the poor going back to the 1830’s
- Hosting Family film nights and FAF (Food and Faith) accessible Bible studies
- Reaching out to families through our partnership with Findlay Family Network
- Offering advocacy on behalf of those who need help raising their voice
- Running mothers and toddlers groups, and working in local schools to support the parent’s committee
- Enabling people to access debt counselling through Christians Against Poverty
- Establishing a city-wide interdisciplinary educational forum around city-wide issues and urban mission through Neopolis, the Scottish Centre for Urban Mission and Ministry, based at International Christian College
- Supporting local earth-keeping projects and environmental mission
- Offering cooking and music classes to local families and children
We have also formed a strong relationship with a Catholic Charismatic community in Glasgow called the Community of the Risen Christ, part of the Sword of the Spirit network. We are actively seeking to counter the prevailing spirit of Catholic/Protestant sectarianism in the city by building life giving relationships across this divide.