GLO Centre celebrates its 40th anniversary

GLO director Stephen McQuoid
GLO director Stephen McQuoid

The Gospel Literature Outreach Centre in Motherwell has been holding two special events to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The GLO Centre, as it has become universally and affectionately known, has many workers, volunteers and supporters of their Christian mission.

Everyone who has a tangible connection with GLO in Motherwell was invited to the first evening of celebration and some 200 people turned up.

It was a walk down memory lane with a power point presentation of the story of GLO, involving a great measure of reminiscing.

There was also a video message all the way from Australia by Cynthia Tilsley whose late husband Colin founded GLO.

The second event saw people travel from all over the country to join in the celebration and the auditorium at GLO was packed to capacity with 250 people attending.

Dr Stephen McQuoid, general director of GLO said: “It was estimated that 40 per cent who attended this event were under 30 and that augers well for our Christian mission.

“We watched the same presentation as was made at the first event, and there was a praise band and time of worship. It was really inspiring and everyone said how much they enjoyed the celebration.”

Stephen has written a book entitled “Vision for Mission” and this was launched at the anniversary weekend. The book tells the story of GLO Europe.

GLO began in Australia in the mid 1960s by Colin Tilsley. His parents were missionaries in India when Colin was born.

Colin was educated in a school for missionary children where he became a Christian. His education continued in Kent in England, while his parents returned to missionary work in India.

He met his wife Cynthia who is Australian, when she was nursing in Scotland in 1953. After completing his national service Colin went to Australia to join her.

On the way he visited his parents in India which Stephen McQuoid described as “decisive for it was here, among other places, that he was deeply challenged about the spiritual needs of the world and was burdened to try to do something about it.”

Colin and Cynthia married and had four children. Colin had a good job but to fulfil their wish to serve in Christian ministry, they sold their home and moved to Sydney so that Colin could complete a course at the Emmaus Bible School.

He founded Gospel Literature Outreach in 1965. The aims of the outreach were to reach mass population areas with the gospel.

Colin negotiated to lease the building which is now the GLO Centre in Motherwell from the Church of Scotland in 1974, with help from Wallace Kirkland who was well known and respected for his Maranatha Centre youth ministry.

GLO Europe became established in the 1970s.

After organising the 40th anniversary celebrations in Motherwell Stephen will be the guest speaker at the 50th anniversary celebrations in Australia in October.

He also has a great story to tell. He came to Scotland from Ireland to work in the GLO College, seven years after he was a student there.

Having previously been in the nursing profession and then studied theology, five years ago he took up the post of general director and is involved in missions all over Europe.

His wife Debbie used to be involved in the GLO team at Viewpark, which is now the Liberty Church in Bellshill.

Stephen quipped: “I am from Ireland and Debbie is from Wales and we are now living in Scotland, the Celtic connections is strong!”

The GLO Centre in Motherwell began with a book shop as books were part of the vision. Today it is recognised as Scotland’s leading independent Christian resource centre.

Along with the successful book shop, there is a popular coffee shop, a conference centre which doubles as a venue for concerts, meeting rooms and a college with student accommodation.

GLO Europe is said to be “a mission movement dedicated to taking the gospel to millions of Europeans who are lost and in need of spiritual life.”

The dedication and work of the staff at GLO Centre in Motherwell bears this out.