BY Daniel Harkins | March 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


St Patrick’s parish celebrates 150 years in the town of Kilsyth

The parish of St Patrick’s in Kilsyth came together on the feast day of their patron saint to celebrate 150 years in the small Lanarkshire town.

The church was packed for the anniversary Mass celebrated by Mgr Patrick Burke, vicar general of St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese, alongside parish priest Fr Daniel Doherty, former parish priests and clergy.

Also in attendance were St Patrick’s Primary School pupils who sang Panis Angelicus, and pupils from the school and St Maurice’s High in Cumbernauld—including P7 pupil Matthew Carberry and S2 pupil Hannah Daeies—served during the Mass.

The parish was founded on St Patrick’s Day 1866, with the current church building dating back 50 years to 1965 when it was opened by Archbishop—later Cardinal—Gordon Gray.

Archbishop Leo Cushley, who was unable to make the Mass, explained to parishioners in a contribution to a history of the church that their parish had its roots in 19th century immigration from Ireland, as people flocked to the town’s coal mines and ironstone pits and brought with them their faith.

“They brought with them great hope and also great faith,” the archbishop said. “As one Edwardian history book noted regarding the Catholics of Kilsyth: ‘They had no priest nearer than Campsie, seven miles away, and, with a faithfulness that was a marvel to Protestant onlookers, they travelled the distance, there and back, every Sabbath morning and evening.’

“And so, a distinguished predecessor of mine, Bishop [James] Gillis, decided to found the parish of St Patrick’s, Kilsyth with Fr John Galvin arriving as parish priest on 5 January 1865. Following the generous donation of land by the renowned traveller and writer, Sir Archibald Edmonstone of Duntreath, Fr Galvin quickly set about building a handsome sandstone church worthy of Catholic worship.

Archbishop Cushley concluded by congratulating Fr Doherty and all the parishioners of St Patrick’s on their 150th anniversary.

“I impart my Blessing to all as a pledge of grace and peace,” he said.


—This story ran in full in the March 20 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.

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