Mediaeval Manuscript Illumination - Church Building
As everyone will be aware, while the life of the church and parish community might have been very restricted over past months, nevertheless, important work has been on-going.
Specialist surveyors carried out a detailed examination of the fabric of the church and indicated quite a number of aspects of refurbishment which are deemed necessary or highly desirable. The costings for the work outlined amount to something in excess of £970,000. While some of the ‘highly desirable’ elements may be phased over some time, other aspects require fairly urgent attention (e.g. the re-roofing of the church).
In tandem with this survey, another report was sought (from a different firm) by the Estates Department of the Archdiocese on the status of the fabric of the halls. Once again, the report issued in December makes challenging reading. The costings for the repairs and upgrading of the halls are estimated to be in the region of £330,000.
Recent meetings (Zoom) of the Halls Committee and the Parish Pastoral Council came to the conclusion that our priority must be the necessary work on the church. It would seem now impossible to continue to finance the church halls, especially given the minimal use that the parish has had in recent times. Current maintenance of the halls is proving quite expensive, even with the halls closed for COVID regulations. Hard decisions await.
As many of you will be aware, extensive consultation took place in the parish and beyond (through emailing all parents in our Catholic Primary School). Monsignor spoke at Masses, bulletins and this website have carried the salient aspects of the situation facing us and letters were sent out to elderly and housebound parishioners - all to inform fully and seek the opinions of the parish community.
As expected, people were understanding of the challenges ahead and regretfully accepting that, while our Halls have been a vital part of the life of the parish for so long, the time has sadly come when we can simply no longer afford the very steep costs of refurbishment and on-going maintenance. There has been complete agreement that the refurbishment of the Church has to be our priority. In order to begin to confront the massive costs involved in this, it has been accepted that we now need to dispose of the property in Grant Street.
The results of consultation with the Halls Committee, the Parish Council and the congregation of our parish have now been forwarded to the Trustees of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, with the clear recommendation that we be given approval to alienate this property.
The Trustees will not be able to deliberate on this formal request immediately, as we do not yet have a new Archbishop in place, following the untimely death of Archbishop Tartaglia. The matter is now awaiting the attention of the Trustees and their decision as to how we proceed.
Everyone will, of course, be informed of any progress which is made.