Catholic Church Kilsyth

Archbishop Leo Cushley Opens New St Patrick's Hall

After 10 years of fund raising the new hall is opened!

After years of planning and fundraising, the parishioners of St Patrick’s, Kilsyth, have a new Parish Hall, which was formally opened and blessed by His Grace Archbishop Leo Cushley on Wednesday 6th November 2013. This was the Archbishop’s first visit to Kilsyth and he said he was “happy to be home”. St Patrick’s is the only parish in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh which lies geographically within North Lanarkshire, the Archbishops home county.

At Mass in the Church prior to the celebrations in the hall, the Archbishop was introduced to the congregation by Fr James Tracey, Parish Priest. and he received a rousing welcome. Also concelebrating Mass were Fr Andrew Garden, recently appointed assistant priest in Kilsyth, and a son of the parish, Fr Alan Meechan, a Divine Word Missionary, home on holiday from his missionary work in the Philippines.

The history of the site upon which the new Parish Hall was built is an interesting one. It stands in a field which, prior to 1767, was known locally as the 'Kiln Yard' and was purchased by the Presbyterian congregation of the Kilsyth Relief Church, who erected a Church on the site that year. According to 'A History of Kilsyth - A Tale of Two Lives' by the Rev Robert Anderson published in 1901, a Presbyterian church stood on the site for 125 years and 'God was worshipped and the Gospel was preached.'

In 1893 the Presbyterian congregation built what is now the Anderson Church of Scotland and moved out of the building. For nearly 40 years the old church building was used as a Music Hall and Cinema until it was purchased by Monsignor Patrick Macnamara and used as a parish hall for the Catholic congregation of St Patrick's Kilsyth. A suite of halls was progressively developed over time and remained in use until 2006. During the demolition of the old hall in 2012 the bricked up windows of the old 1767 church became visible, as did the original blonde sandstone which had been lost underneath roughcast for several generations.

The new Church Hall, which boasts the latest IT and eco friendly heating system, was designed and built by Fleming Buildings Limited of Lenzie and the IT suppliers were Global Integrated Solutions of Bellshill. Paul Randall, Fabric Officer of the Archdiocese, helped the Fabric Committee of St Patrick's plan and execute every aspect of the build.

After Mass, Archbishop Cushley blessed the hall and the people who will use this wonderful new facility. He then declared the hall formally open by unveiling a commemorative plaque in the vestibule which celebrates this history of the site. Commenting upon this joyful event for the Parish, he revealed that this occasion was a milestone for him too, as it was the first commemorative plaque he has been asked to unveil as Archbishop!

Mass in St Patrick's followed by a reception in the new hall
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Some of the members of the Fabric Group who were able to attend the opening with Archbishop Cushley.

l-r Rev. Fr. James Tracey, John Trower, Joe Fitzgerald, Joe Livingstone, Kate Horbury and His Grace, Archbishop Leo Cushley.

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God BlessYou!