New church is at the heart of Scotland's biggest regeneration project in Sighthill, Glasgow

The congregation of St Rollox Church are looking forward to moving into their new home(Photo: Church of Scotland)

A brand new community church hub is ready to open its doors and welcome in worshippers at the heart of the biggest regeneration project in Scotland underway at Sighthill, Glasgow. 

£250 million is being spent to completely transform the area, once home to a tower block housing scheme that came to be labelled a 'sink estate', with high unemployment, drug abuse and crime. 

Now the tower blocks are gone and construction work is underway in an ambitious rejuvenation project that includes the construction of 1,000 homes, a school, shops and a pedestrian bridge into the city centre. 

The regeneration spans 50 hectares of land and greenspace, with construction expected to be finished next year. 

Already completed is St Rollox Church, which had its launch today.  The Church of Scotland said it was a flexible and versatile, multi-purpose space that symbolises the "rebirth" of Sighthill.

Rev Jane Howitt, minister of St Rollox Church, said: "We are hugely excited because our accessible new building is the first public space to open in the area.

"It is a very light and airy facility in the heart of a new and growing community, a place where everyone is welcome and can call home."

It marks a rebirth of sorts for the congregation too, which lost its original church building on the nearby Fountainwell Road five years ago when Glasgow City Council imposed a compulsory purchase order to build an access road to Sighthill. 

St Rollox Church(Photo: Church of Scotland)

The new church was funded by the local authority and furnished by the Church of Scotland. 

The congregation is one of the Church of Scotland's most diverse, with 85 per cent of the worshippers being people who were born outside of the UK. 

The diversity reflects the local community, which is home to many asylum seekers and refugees. 

The inaugural service will be held on Sunday, with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, preaching. 

The rotunda will be used as a café(Photo: Church of Scotland)

"I preached in St Rollox a few years ago and it is the richness of the cultural diversity that is so impressive," he said.

"As they start a new chapter in their story, my prayer is that those who have journeyed from many lands may find a home with those who have lived in Glasgow all their lives."

The centrepiece of the purpose-built church is the Rotunda, which has a cross-shaped window and will house a café open to the public. 

The sanctuary, called The Gathering Space, has a motorised, soundproof glass wall that can be used to subdivide it into two rooms. 

The sanctuary, known as The Gathering Space, in St Rollox Church(Photo: Church of Scotland)

A separate area called The Activity Space is available for meetings and public events, like exhibitions and concerts, and can also be subdivided into smaller rooms. 

Michael Visocchi, the youngest artist to be elected to the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, is creating a public artwork for an exterior wall of the church featuring a series of 77 crosses in 33 different styles, one for every year of Jesus' life.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "The opening of St Rollox Church will be a great asset for the area as it continues its regeneration.

"This new church building will not only play a key role for the congregation, but offers a space which could benefit the wider community of Sighthill and neighbouring areas.

"The church is yet another symbol of the rebirth of Sighthill, one of the biggest such projects in the UK."