St Andrew's Cathedral

(Metropolitan Cathedral of St Andrew)

St Andrew's Cathedral, Clyde Street, Glasgow
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

St Andrew's Cathedral, Clyde Street, Glasgow

The Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Andrew is the seat of the Archbishop of Glasgow and lies on the north bank of the River Clyde in Clyde Street, surrounded by incongrously modern residential and office blocks. As a consequence of the Reformation, Roman Catholic worship in Glasgow had to be undertaken surreptitiously. However by the end of the 18th C., and with the influx of Irish immigrants, there soon became a need for a Roman Catholic church. Completed in 1817, St. Andrew's Church was designed by James Gillespie Graham (1776 - 1855) and was built in the Gothic Revival Perpendicular style. Construction proved difficult; hostility towards Catholics was such that work completed on the building during the day was torn down at night. Eventually guards were employed and churches belonging to other denominations in the city donated money to help with the work in the spirit of ecumenicalism. The church was designated a cathedral in 1889, following work on the interior by Pugin & Pugin. A Henry Willis organ dating from 1903 was salvaged from the former Elgin Place Congregational Church and installed here in 1981. An award-winning £4.5-million restoration was undertaken 2009-11 by Page and Park, under the direction of Archbishop Mario Conti (1934 - 2022). This involved extending the building through the construction of a new cloister and the installation of a new marble altar and baptismal font, together with a painting of St. John Ogilvie by Peter Howson (b. 1958). The cathedral was re-opened in 2011 by Archbishop Conti, in the presence of First Minister Alex Salmond (b. 1954). The interior is now bright and spacious, with extensive use of gold leaf and capable of holding in excess of 2000 worshippers. Fine stained glass depicts numerous saints, including St. Andrew, St. Margaret, St. Patrick and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. There is a memorial window to Rev. Andrew Scott (1772 - 1846), the founder of this church, who was later the Vicar Apostolic of the Western District of Scotland.

Next to the Cathedral is the Italian Cloister Garden, symbolic of the strong links between Scotland and Italy.

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