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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Buildings and Cityscape

Places of Worship

By John R Hume

Glasgow Central Mosque This period has seen much of the city rebuilt and major new housing estates constructed on green-field sites at, for example, Drumchapel, Castlemilk and Easterhouse. The Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church both embarked in the 1950s on massive programmes of church extension to serve these new communities, the largest of which were the size of medium-sized towns. Owing to a shortage of traditional building materials a variety of novel techniques were adopted, not all successfully. From the late 1950s novelty became almost an end in itself. Many of the churches built in the 1950s and 60s were designed for large congregations, few of which have been sustained. Some of these buildings have already been demolished. By the 1970s realism had set in and much smaller and less innovative churches were being built, some to replace earlier post-war buildings. Since 1990 few churches have been built in Glasgow. The number of churches built in this period is so large that it is meaningless to quote representative examples.

St Andrew's-by-the-Green The last quarter of the 20th century saw non-Christian faith groups becoming established in the city, notably Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. All of these have established their own places of worship, mainly in converted premises, though the Muslim community has built a fine mosque in the Gorbals.

Since 1950 many older places of worship have been demolished. Some have been converted to other uses. The most obvious re-use of Church of Scotland buildings by other denominations and some are now used by the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches and by evangelical sects. Conversions include a nightclub, a graduation hall, two theatres, two concert halls, a night shelter for the homeless and a hotel.

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