History of the Ignatian Spirituality centre

Craighead House - a Retreat Centre at Bothwell on the banks of the Clyde

Wartime retreats were held with a somewhat younger clientele than darkens the ISC doors today

Woodside place had Edwardian elegance and proximity to Kelvingrove Park

Scott Street is all on one floor, close to the City Centre and is the first purpose built Spirituality Centre

Craighead - Woodside Place - Scott Street . . . A sort of history….

Craighead Retreat House was a full-time residential retreat house at Bothwell in beautiful grounds by the River Clyde. In fact, apart from the rather ugly retreatants’ wing it was a pleasant and comely house. 
Why, then, was it given up? 
There were probably several reasons which are now hidden in the archives of the Society of Jesus, but the only ones that come to my fallible memory are, first of all, the fact that the house was reckoned to be unsafe (structurally rather than spiritually) when examined by a group of experts. A second reason was that a dual carriageway to East Kilbride cut off easy access to the house, and made coming to retreat something of an exploration.

A decision was therefore made to move from Craighead. There was much discussion about what and where should follow Craighead, and opinion ranged from a residential retreat house deep in the countryside, to please the eye and the soul of retreatants, and a non-residential centre, more accessible to users, in the city of Glasgow.

The latter prevailed. It wasn’t long before a suitable property was found near the house being bought for the Jesuit Community in Woodside Place, near the M8, so we ended up with the Jesuits in No. 10 and the Spirituality Centre in No.7.
As we settled into Woodside Place, we shuffled our feathers to make ourselves comfortable. There were certain anomalies: the administration office was on the first floor, thus giving the newly appointed administrative secretary plenty of exercise each time the door bell rang. The conference and coffee rooms were on the ground floor, while the chapel was in the basement and the interview rooms on the top floor, enabling the rain to get in along with directees.

To enumerate the various events that took place at No. 7 Woodside Place would take more memory than my mind can compass. Just to mention a few: the centre was asked by the University to help with a conference in the theology department which was a considerable success; a new course was added, ‘Integration for Ministry’; various courses for training spiritual directors and helping clergy were initiated, together with courses in prayer and reflective living; a pilgrimage-retreat to the island of Islay underlined the Scottish Celtic nature of our centre; courses in art and spirituality, the Enneagram and various others came and went, while some continue. And, of course, a constant stream of people came through our doors for our ongoing work in individual spiritual direction.

In one significant way the Centre made Jesuit history when Ruth Holgate, a laywoman, was appointed director. Regarding other team members, as some of those who came from Craighead moved on, others were appointed, so that the team became truly ecumenical.

Fintan Creaven SJ

The ageing Jesuit Community found the walk over the M8 to St Aloysius Church and the College too onerous, so it was decided to move to a new-build site on Hill Street. The original intention had been just to have the community move, but as the Council wanted to keep the building on the same level as the rest of the street an extra floor had to be added, so it was decided to move the Ignatian Spirituality Centre as well. 
So the Centre moved closer to the City Centre in its first purpose-built site.

Currently the centre can fit just over 50 people in the Conference Room, and about 25 each in the Chapel and Art Room.

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