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Churches & Religion

Churches and Religious Institutions in Garngad, Provanmill and Blackhill

Townhead Parish Church (later Townhead–Blockairn Church). This church with its famous spire was opened in 1865. The church was situated at the top of Garngadhill (Garngadhill is one of 180 Drumlins, or hills, which were left after the ice age by retreating glaciers, and at 252 feet is one of the most prominent in the city). This was one of the few listed buildings in the city and its spire dominates the east end skyline. Its fine stained glass included a large pre-Raphaelite window, the earliest William Morris work in situ in Glasgow by almost 30 years. Part of the window was unusual in depicting Christ sitting on a rainbow encircled by an orchestra of angels.

This church also had carved heads including those of John Knox and Calvin by Mossman, the famous Glasgow sculptor. The church was closed and suffered from vandalism and was sadly demolished in (?). Sadly, although the Morris window was saved and is in the custody of the City Museums, some priceless Cottier glass was damaged during the removal. A local campaign managed to save the spire and a little park has been opened.

The Catholic population was very large in this area and prior to 1907 the Catholics had been served by St Mungo’s Church, Parson St, Townhead. St. Mungo’s was the first Catholic church on the north side of the city and was established by the Irish Passionist Order who run this church till the present day.

St Roch’s R. C. Church on Garngad Rd was established in 1907 by Father (later Canon) Daniel Collins, a native of Skibereen, Co. Cork, Ireland. The original building was intended to become the church hall when a new church would be built opposite. This never took place and the church was extended in 1919 when a new sanctuary was built.

Blochairn Church was located side by side with St Roch’s Church at the corner of Garngad Rd and Blochairn Rd. It was originally a mission of the Barony Church (called Barony free Church) and was raised to full status as a church in 1877. The church was demolished in 19 (?) and the congregation joined forces with Townhead Parish to form Townhead–Blochairn Church.

The church at Tharsis St was originally St Rollox Church (now at Sighthill) founded in 1855. This makes this United Presbyterian Church the oldest in the area. The church building opened in 1861. After St Rollox transferred to Sighthill the Tharsis St building was run as a mission, under the guidance of St Rollox Church. It was known as Garngad Christian Institute. The Foundry Boys Religious Society was founded in Cowcaddens in 1865 catering for the social and spiritual well-being of boys who worked for men in city iron foundries. St Rollox branch was founded in 1869 and first met in St Rollox School. In 1873 it moved to Barony Free Church (Blochairn Church) and in 1894 moved to the Tharsis building.

United Presbyterian Church (UP) later – Primitive Methodist Chapel was in Turner St.

Townhead Parish Territorial Mission Hall was on Cobden St.

St Philomena’s Church, Provanmill, was opened in 1939 to meet the demands of the growing population in the Provanmill – Robroyston – Blackhill area.

St Paul’s Church of Scotland opened in Langdale St in 19 (?)

An order of French nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, came to Garngadhill in 1864. Their mother house was at La Tour, France. They first arrived at Wilson St in 1862. The Sisters of Mercy were originally in the premises at Garngad. The Little Sisters of the Poor administered to the aged and sick of all denominations at St. Joseph’s Home until 1993 when they moved to Robroyston.

Read about Provanmill and Blackhill
Read about Germiston
Read about Garngad and Royston
Read about Garngad characters (Mick McLaughlan by Michael Keenan)
Read about politics in the area
Read about entertainment in the area
Read about sports in the area
Read about schools in the area
Read the 'Farewell to Garngad'
Read about a poet from 'Little Ireland'
Read the conclusion by writer James Friel

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