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Listed Buildings Area Survey

Event ID 640710

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Listed Buildings Area Survey

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/640710

Large modern brick church with attached bell tower built by Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, planned from 1946, opening on the 20th December 1959.

The new parish within the Diocese of Paisley was created in 1946 after the growth of post war housing to the east of the town. Until the building of the new church, the parish worshipped in a large wooden hut in what had once been part of HMS Monk naval accommodation. Other Nissen huts were used for the parish school alongside. The church was eventually built further up the hill on a steep slope with adjoining Presbytery and the school next door (now demolished). A permanent church was required as parish numbers grew to about 5000 by the mid 1950's.

The practice of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia designed a number of churches for the Catholic church, many in brick , as Coia said "My churches were essentially transitional structures in that I was anxious to break with the grey-stone neo-Gothic. I tried to build more freely and in brick" (RIBA Gold medal speech, published in 'Building' 27 June 1969). The church uses marble and glazing to great effect, adding colour and warmth to a simple interior. The original pews survive. A side chapel and lobby were created in the 1970's by erecting a glazed internal wall, partly for reasons of preserving heat in the body of the church. The font was also moved from the original baptistry to the sanctuary, the former baptistry now houses the church shop.

Information from RCAHMS (CAJS) 22 November 2011.

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