The priority area church helping the community to get vaccinated

A Glasgow congregation in a priority area has helped hundreds of people to get vaccinated against coronavirus by opening their doors for use by the NHS.

Possilpark Parish Church is being used as a vaccination centre
Possilpark Parish Church is being used as a vaccination centre.

Possilpark Parish Church, which is situated in the north of the city, was approached by the local surgery, Balmore Medical Practice, after they were able to provide a safe site for flu injections last autumn.

Karen Ritchie, who is the session clerk at Possilpark, said: "The scale of the vaccination programme over these last weeks has been remarkable, a real boost for so many.

"It has been a real privilege for us in Possilpark Parish Church to be able to make our buildings available and so play a tiny part in that endeavour.

"We are grateful for those who are helping this to happen. And we're looking forward to the day when our church buildings can be open every day again, serving and supporting our community in the Name of Jesus."

Church buildings can be open every day again, serving and supporting our community in the Name of Jesus."

Property Convener Adah Younger worked in partnership with the NHS on arrangements to make the building safe for people to use.

Susan Findlay, who is the manager at Balmore Medical Practice, said that it was helpful to use a site which was well-known in the local area.

"The staff really appreciated the use of the church because it was within the immediate community," she said.

"Inspection of the premises to establish best practice was easy.

"The one way system worked because of excellent access to all parts of the building. The two stewards were on duty throughout the day.

"The familiar surroundings gave the patients confidence. Everyone happy!"

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, said he was "delighted" that many Church of Scotland buildings had been able to support the vaccination program.

"In lots of communities across the country, The Church of Scotland is the key provider of space for all manner of groups and organisations - and many of these groups are community-based rather than congregational in nature.

"While lots of that hospitality has been on hold during the pandemic, other possibilities have opened up - not least for church buildings to be used for vaccination centres.

"I'm delighted that that's happening and am glad that congregations like Possilpark in Glasgow have found this unique way to continue to serve."