St. Columbkille’s Church, Rutherglen

Early Modernist Church transformed in the heart of Rutherglen

St Columbkille’s Parish was founded in 1851, with a modern replacement in 1940 designed by renowned architect Jack Coia of Gillespie Kidd.A. Coia. Page\Park Architects were appointed in December 2011 to complete a comprehensive building fabric and roof repair project, and this was followed by a second phase of work, an interior refurbishment, which was completed in Autumn 2016.

The project sought to revitalise the church interior and ensure its longevity for future generations. This was achieved by adapting the sanctuary and support spaces into a contemporary ecclesiastical space and ensuring a well-maintained envelope.


The church refurbishment is representative of a new shift of focus within conservation for the need to conserve post war buildings. This is of importance when this is set against a backdrop whereby many of these churches are being closed, re-purposed or demolished. This level of investment in one church is a clear commitment from the client; as custodians, to this building typology and its continued use, both as a place of worship and serving the wider local community.

Our objective was to be ‘imperceptible’. The church was remarkably simple and rather than contrast the new elements, all our interior interventions attempted to complement the existing building or ‘disappear’. The decorative proposals aimed to capture the original atmosphere of space and light, with repaired plasterwork and a subtle colour palette to allow the natural light elevate the simple architectural features and establish a ‘pure‘ and contemporary ecclesiastical space. The refurbishment of the building has allowed the church to ‘open its doors’ to the community.

Project Info

St Columbkille’s Parish Church
2 Kirkwood St, Rutherglen, Glasgow G73 2SL
October 2016
RICS Award 2017- Building Conservation (Shortlisted)
Structural Engineer
David Narro Associates
M&E Engineer
Harley Haddow LLP
Cost Consultant
Devers Boyle Chartered Surveyors
Flemings Buildings Ltd
Ross Campbell
Health and Safety Advisor
CDM Scotland
Church & Heritage Building Publication