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Financial pressure forces closure of St Ninian Institute

After five years the St Ninian Institute located at Dunkeld’s diocesan centre in Dundee is to close down.

The institute, which had been set up with the support and backing of the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, aimed to bring tertiary Catholic Education to Scotland and had also hoped to become a centre of excellence for religious art, music and drama.

Announcing the decision to close the institute, citing other financial pressures on the diocese, Bishop Stephen Robson (right) paid tribute to David Meiklejohn who has been its director since 2012.

“I would like to thank all of those who have supported this initiative and who have provided and benefited from the successful conferences, retreats, lectures and arts events experienced throughout the past five years,” he said.

“From now onward we will regroup our pastoral services primarily in the convent building, the central part of our pastoral centre, and use the curial building to its maximum potential.”

In a statement, David Meiklejohn said: “It has been a real privilege working with so many wonderful people in the diocese and beyond. Their level of dedication, support and good humour is both exceptional and inspirational.”

Mr Meiklejohn also had a special word of thanks for the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters. “The Sisters made every effort to ensure that the comfort and wellbeing of all those visiting was given a high priority,” he said. “It’s good to know that great work of the Sisters will be continuing at the diocesan centre.”

With the recent appointment of Canon Kevin Golden as director of the pastoral centre, now based along with the curial offices in St Joseph’s Convent, it is expected that a range of options will be considered for the ‘upper’ building on the site, known to many as their old school, Lawside Academy.

Recently upgraded, and offering conference, catering and residential functions, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters have been promoting its use as a Retreat Centre for lay organisations, schools and parishes across the diocese and wider community.

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