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A Brief History of St. Patrick's Kilsyth

The body of the late

Marta Corbett 

Requiem Mass will take place in

St Patrick's Church Kilsyth

at 9.30am on Friday 9th July

Therafter to Daldowie Crematorium 

*** 50 limit now in place ***

If you take a wee walk up the Tak-Ma-Doon Road in Kilsyth you soon encounter evidence of the town’s ancient Catholic heritage: St Mirin’s Well.

The spring of water is associated with the 6th century Irish monk who was Prior of Bangor Abbey in County Down before setting off on his missionary voyage to Scotland which included apostolic tours of west Stirlingshire.

After the Reformation, it was once again from Ireland that the Catholic faith slowly returned to Kilsyth. In the early 19th century migrants began to arrive to work in the town’s coal mines and ironstone pits. They brought with them great hope and also great faith. 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

Father John Galvin arriving as parish priest on 5th January 1865. Following the generous donation of land by the renowned traveller and writer, Sir Archibald

Edmonstone of Duntreath, Father Galvin quickly set about building a handsome sandstone church worthy of Catholic worship. 

The providential result of such pious endeavours is that today, at the very heart of Kilsyth, there is a vibrant Catholic community at the centre of which is the Eucharist.  This tells us all we need to know about why St Mirin imperilled himself to sail across the Irish Sea or why our impoverished forebears walked miles on a Sunday to attend Holy Mass:  the love for Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

The Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life. This is why we should give prayerful thanks for the numerous priests who have served St Patrick’s parish over many years. Without the priest there is no Eucharist and, thus, no Church. Such a reality should also impel us to pray for more priestly vocations from St Patrick’s parish in the years to come.

We also remember in our prayers the souls of the faithful departed of the parish, the priests who worked there, the families who lived there, all the other members of the parish, and their example and devotion over the past 150 years. We remember them fondly. May God give them the reward of their goodness.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to congratulate Father Doherty and all the parishioners of St Patrick’s, Kilsyth on the occasion of the 150th anniversary, and I willingly impart my Blessing to all as a pledge of grace and peace.

† Leo Cushley

Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh

Volunteering Opportunities

Volunteering within church and community life is one of the most powerful and readily available ways in which we can live to make a difference.

Loads of people at St Patrick's Parish Church volunteer their time and their talents in different ways but we are always looking for new and different skills. 

Parish Safeguarding

“Awareness and Safety in our Catholic Communities”

Volunteering to work in the Parish Community is a wonderful expression of Christian commitment, and is essential to the running of our many and varied groups. Some of this work involves working closely with children and young people, or with adults at risk, and imposes extra responsibilities on us all. To learn more, visit 

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