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July 24, 2017
Heritage & Conservation

St Columbkille’s – Short Film

Heritage & Conservation

St Columbkille’s – Short Film

Situated on the main drag of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen is Gillespie Kidd and Coia’s St Columbkille’s Church. The church and the experience of using it is a play on numbers, evolving through time and history as our story will show. The 1940’s modern interpretation of the Italian Basilica in red brick with its 5 tall windows, 5 statues by Archibald Dawson of Christ and the 4 Evangelists. Led through the 3 intricately carved front doors you are met by this 1 person, alone in the 1 space they can feel that sense of calm.

Time governs the daily ritual, 10am mass, 1pm mass and other services in between attract more numbers, more people to join this lone individual. The hymns play, the congregation gathers and now there is a community. Joined in this 1 house of worship with Father Hennessey. The numbers have risen, and still people filter in from the back.

They all rise, 1 by 1, joining to greet the Father and receive communion. The procession then meanders around the archways and aisles absorbing the free spirit embodied in the church. Then they leave, 1 by 1, passing comments and good will to each passer by, the space is filled with joy. The 6 new lights, refurbished with LED’s enhance the ambiance of the space and send people on their way into the world on any given day.

The 2 people we spoke to were full of praise for what has been done and what lies ahead. Joe McNair a church go-oer, since 1953 was astounded by the warmth and precision of the restoration. Frank, 30 years attending to the building he was baptised in, shared his memories and stories of the place he holds dear to his hearts.

In the 4-year project, a vast number of people were involved in driving the vision forward. The 3 steps to the Altar, made simple and elegant. The 60 timber refurbished pews sitting on the gleaming new limestone floor pay homage to the generations of past users. It shows that one building is a complex mathematical algorithm, we play a part, but to reflect on the others involved is what makes this building very special.