City Mission - Christian Heritage

1900 – 2000

The 1898 Report concluded that “Multitudes have been lifted out of the degradation into which they had fallen, and larger numbers have been prevented from falling.” (p.10) It had been a glorious time of harvesting; particularly between the years 1840 and 1880. Now ECM and Edinburgh were entering a new century. What would it be like?

By now ECM had become very well-known and respected in the city and other missions put themselves under its supervision. Both Niddrie Mission and the Grassmarket Mission did this. ECM had spread its influence throughout the city, being called upon to help with all sorts of things. Extraordinary ministries, such as the Children’s Fortnightly Holiday Fund, had been set up under Mrs. Stirling Boyd, which allowed 2,000 children to go on holidays from 1895.

A parish nurse had been appointed by ECM to minister to the miners’ families in Craighall on the Niddrie estate, and ECM took on the Coalmen’s Mission. In 1907 there were six District Missionaries: two in Canongate; one in Dumbiedykes; one in Meadowbank; one in Arthur St., (1886, where HQ is today) and in Fountainbridge. Missionaries were appointed to the Public Houses (1892) and Breweries (1887), to the Cabmen (1856), Police Cells (1852) and Police Force (1861), Lodging Houses (1895) and Fallen Women (1860).

In 1908 we see a photo of a missionary with a horse pulling his mobile tea and coffee wagon for his street outreach to the cabmen. The next year ECM and Evangelization Society joined forces to hold Tent Meetings in the Cowgate and in Canongate, with much success. Kitchen Meetings, or evangelistic dinner parties, became popular from about 1910, although missionaries had been doing this informally for many years before then.

Open air outreach in 1908

We still hear of effective evangelism, and particularly in the Mission Halls. For example, in 1913 we read that 33 people were converted one evening in the Canongate Hall:
…..every night saw wonderful miracles of grace…….Every night souls surrendered. Fourteen of these live in my district, and are all going on splendidly. (Annual Report 1913: p.4 and 6) In that same year ECM also opened up a rehab home for 12 men at 6, Drummond St.

Crowds queuing up to get into one of the ECM Mission Halls

In 1855 ECM took over a building in the Royal Mile as an outreach base. This was called Galloway’s Entry Mission Hall in the Canongate. At one time there were six ECM Mission Halls in and around the Royal Mile

In 1855 ECM took over a building in the Royal Mile as an outreach base. This was called Galloway’s Entry Mission Hall in the Canongate. At one time there were six ECM Mission Halls in and around the Royal Mile

St Leonard’s Mission Hall, Dumbiedykes. Later this became a base for the work amongst the homeless. Churches worked on a rota basis with ECM to provide a care shelter in the winter months. This building was eventually knocked down and the Care Shelter was set up by Bethany Christian Trust

1935: Abbey Hill Mission Hall, which used to be a police station

 

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