The Modern Age: 1970 – 2010

In 1970 there were only four missionaries left running five Mission Halls (Abbeyhill; Dumbiedykes; Broughton; Hay Drive and The Inch), and reaching the Special Classes of Hospitals and Eventide Homes (Retirement Homes), Lodging Houses and Prisons, the Post Office and Transport Men. Without having some good, faithful volunteers, it would have been impossible!

In this period we start to see the numbers of people at Mission Halls being depleted. One ministry, in Dumbiedykes, had done a sterling work for years but we learn:

The shift of population from the older districts of the City has depleted attendances at some of the halls and a clearance has been placed on the St. Leonard’s Hill Hall. It also becomes increasingly difficult to persuade non-Christians to attend meetings…..

Annual Report: 1970: p.3

The attendances at Logie Green Road…..are small.

The only meeting now held at Comely Green Place is the Sunday School.

Ibid., p.5

The immoral landslide in Britain becomes really noticeable from now onwards:

The moral corruption in Britain has reached proportions, which ten years ago would have been unthinkable, but so far there is little sign of any reversal of the trend, or recognition of the cause of our troubles.

Annual Report: 1972: p.3

In 1974 the Missionaries start to write about being subject to much abuse by the gangs of youth, and of repeated vandalism of their halls, particularly at Niddrie. However, a new initiative was opened up – an ECM outreach café, which ran very effectively, as a spiritual oasis for about 20 years (in 1981 it became the Mission Cellar, a shop for second hand clothes).

On 19th October, 1978, the Gorgie Railway Mission (formerly the Gorgie Gospel Hall) was handed over to ECM for outreach into that community, and in 1980 we read that the following ministries were operating:

  • Gorgie Mission Hall: David McFarlane
  • Inch Mission Hall: William Chalmers (Bill Chalmers, who had joined ECM in 1976)
  • Niddrie Mission Hall: Alex Dunbar (General Superintendent of ECM) Assistant: Derek Laidlaw (husband of Ann, ECM secretary, appointed in 1975)
  • Outreach Café: Mrs. Cattenach
  • Dumbiedykes Mission Hall: William Esslement (honorary)
  • P.O. and Transport: Alfred Gamble
  • Prisons: Vacant
  • Hospitals and Nursing: Mrs. Long (honorary)
  • Homes and Eventide Homes: Vacant

 

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