Textures, patterns, vibrancy, vitality and dereliction all contribute to the mottled milieu of our neighbourhood. As part of our mapping exercise, we set out on three different routes through Pollokshaws and Shawlands, taking photos and noting down thoughts and observations. There were moments of hope and moments of despair.
The immediate vicinity of Refuge is a landscape of neglect. Dishevelled overgrowth extends between the library and the park (which used to be the swimming pool). The former primary school is in a state of abandon and disrepair. The shopping precinct has the appearance of disaster, and perhaps wouldn't look out of place in one of the more neglected corners of the former Soviet Bloc. However, there are plans afoot to redevelop this area.
Whilst the nearby Ashtree Park is similarly run-down, we are bounded by the generous provision of Pollok Country Park, and Queen's Park is further up the road. There are other pockets of joy to be found in the likes of the Hidden Gardens at The Tramway. Affluent and deprived areas adjoin in this part of Glasgow's Southside.
Let us prayerfully consider how best to engage with the communities in our midst, and participate in the spiritual restoration of the streets: