Re­fur­bish­ments plans at St Colum­bkille’s de­layed

Rutherglen Reformer - - News from the Pews - Jonathan Ged­des

De­lays have hit the on­go­ing re­fur­bish­ment of St Colum­bkille’s Church.

And parish­ioners won’t be able to move back into the church, a Grade A listed build­ing, un­til into 2016.

The church restoration project has been tak­ing place over the past cou­ple of years, and it took a step for­ward ear­lier this year when the Main Street par­ish se­cured a £15,000 Na­tional Churches Trust Com­mu­nity Grant.

At the end of June the church was then closed and ser­vices were moved to the Par­ish Hall in­stead.

How­ever work has been de­vel­op­ing slower than ini­tially hoped for, which leaves early 2016 as the most likely re­turn date.

Dea­con Bill McMil­lan said: “There’s been a few de­lays un­for­tu­nately.

“Work hasn’t re­ally got started yet be­cause they’ve found a few ar­chi­tec­tural prob­lems that need to be fixed first.

“That means that we’re look­ing at af­ter Christ­mas and into the New Year be­fore we can start mov­ing back in.

“It does make things dif­fi­cult to or­gan­ise and is quite dis­ap­point­ing, but hope­fully the work will get back on track soon.”

St Colum­bkille’s is an A-listed build­ing dat­ing from 1940, hav­ing re­placed the orig­i­nal which was founded in 1851.

It is one of the few church build­ings com­pleted fol­low­ing the onset of the Sec­ond World War and was de­signed by the ar­chi­tects Gille­spie, Kidd & Coia.

The grant they re­ceived ear­lier this year was to help fund the in­stal­la­tion of ac­ces­si­ble toi­lets as part of a ma­jor project to help make the church more ac­ces­si­ble and re­duce en­ergy use.

The project also in­volves re­new­ing heat­ing, light­ing, pews and the PA sys­tem, in­stalling new boil­ers and build­ing a new en­trance porch and ac­cess ramps.

When the grant was first awarded, the Na­tional Churches Trust stated that the St Colum­bkille’s ”the build­ing is a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Ital­ian Ro­manesque ar­chi­tec­ture, with a com­mon fea­ture be­ing a tall frontal tower.

“It has a mas­sive façade with five ar­caded bays at ground level with tall win­dows and sculp­tured stone stat­ues of Christ and the four Evan­ge­lists set in niches along with bas re­liefs.

“The Church is en­riched by work com­mis­sioned from a num­ber of artists in­clude the painted mu­ral ceil­ings to the Sa­cred Heart Chapel by Mr Wal­ter Pritchard (Glas­gow School of Art) and to the Lady Chapel by Mr Wil­liam Cros­bie, A. R. S. A. “Th­ese chapels are fur­ther em­bel­lished by mar­ble work us­ing mar­ble from Con­nemara (Ire­land) and Car­rara (Italy).”

A to­tal of 36 churches through­out Scot­land, England. Wales and Ire­land ben­e­fit­ted from the grants.

We’re look­ing at af­ter Christ­mas and into the New Year be­fore we can start mov­ing back in

De­lays St Colum­bkille’s has been held up with plans to re­fur­bish the church

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