Sign up to our monthly newsletter

Please confirm that you are happy to hear from The Church of Scotland:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit the Privacy Policy on our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Home  >  Features  >  Looking Back: Evacuees

Looking Back

Friday November 14

Looking Back: The Church and the Evacuees

Published in November 1939, the Rev George Henderson of St Ninian's, Stirling, describes how his church is reaching out to the women and children evacuated to the area from Glasgow on the outbreak of World War 2.

Stirling was one of the first areas to receive evacuees. They came from Glasgow, and the Protestants were housed chiefly in St. Ninian’s ward. There are two congregations, St. Ninian’s Old (at present vacant) and St. Ninian’s St. George’s, and they are co-operating heartily with the Home Board and with each other through their Woman’s Guilds and Sunday Schools in the work now in operation.

A few days after the evacuation the Home Board sent two Church Sisters to help organise our effort. The first thing we did was to establish contact with the mothers and infant children in their new homes. Through the kind co-operation of the Headmasters of the local school we got a complete list of their addresses, and without exception the Church Sisters were cordially welcomed. This visitation afforded opportunity to assure the mothers of the Church’s friendship and help, and to invite them into the fellowship of the Sunday services and weekday meetings.

The next thing was to establish contact with the children of school age who had been sent without their mothers. Accordingly, the Headmasters arranged for two services in the school, and the Church Sisters told the scholars about the Sunday Schools and extended a hearty welcome to them.

Thereafter we planned our work as follows:

1. Regular visitation of the mothers and unaccompanied school children in the homes so as to maintain personal contacts.

2. To encourage mothers, whenever possible, to attend Church services.

3. We began a Guild of Friendship, which meets on Tuesday afternoons. A staff of workers entertain the children so that the mothers may be free to enjoy this fellowship. We also have a supply of garments which they may find useful for themselves or their children.

4. For many years we have had a Women’s Fellowship, which met on Thursday evenings. This winter it will meet in the afternoons, and we have arranged for the Church Sisters and lady workers to take charge of the children to permit the mothers to join the Fellowship.

5. We are most anxious for children of school age to attend Sunday Schools, and in this effort we have had such success that in two weeks one of the Sunday Schools more than doubled.

6. A monthly service will be held in the schools, and, should the war be prolonged, at special seasons such as Christmas and Easter the service will be held in the church.

7. On Sundays a considerable number of parents come from Glasgow to visit their children. We have, therefore, opened one of our halls and invited parents to meet their children there from 2.30 to 4 o’clock.

It may be found desirable to augment these arrangements, but during the short drab days of winter three afternoons each week will be lighted up for mothers and children by the friendship of the Church. In other areas similar ministries will be at work. They will, without doubt, contribute to the morale of the nation in these testing days, and we believe that in the hearts of the evacuees they will sow seeds of gratitude and faith in the Church’s Lord.

Looking Back menu