THE Chief of the Staff (Commissioner William Roberts) and Commissioner Nancy Roberts (World Secretary for Women's Ministries) brought blessing and challenge to members of Bellshill Corps (church), in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, when they dedicated to God a refurbished and extended building that will increase The Salvation Army's presence in the Scottish town.
Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Chief unveiled a plaque in the foyer before the assembled crowd moved into the new worship hall for the dedication meeting, led by corps officers Majors Chris and Lynda Connelly. A financial statement was read and recognition and thanks were given to all involved in the project. The old hall has been completely refurbished to allow for a variety of uses, and it has now been joined by a brand-new worship hall. The new facilities will allow the corps to extend its community programme, with plans in place to use the extensive foyer as a drop-in centre.
The time of celebration that followed included participation from the corps music sections. Bellshill Band premièred 'God's Covenanters', which had been written for the occasion by Paul Drury, from Edinburgh Gorgie Corps.
Throughout the weekend the visitors encouraged Salvationists and friends of Bellshill Corps to celebrate, but also – by the power of the Holy Spirit – to move forward and to allow God to lead them in mission to do a 'new thing' in Bellshill. People responded to the challenge by kneeling in prayer at the new mercy seat, which was designed by the architect to fit in with the look of the new worship hall.
The Chief says: 'Commissioner Nancy and I were pleased and honoured to be part of this significant and historic occasion at Bellshill Corps. We sensed a joyful and committed Salvationism, with a desire to make Christ known to the community. The new corps hall is the tangible result of that commitment, and we envisage Spirit-led growth developing from a facility dedicated to the glory of God for the saving of lives.'
Report by Major Lynda Connelly