Interior view of 
St Columba's Church

St Columba's Church in Hopehill Road is a splendid example of the early work of Jack Coia. It is situated just 500 metres along Garscube Road from Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Queen's Cross Church.

St Columba’s Parish dates from 1906, with the present church being built between 1937 and 1941. On Good Friday, 26 March 1937, Father Denis Flynn submitted an application for a new church in Hopehill Road. The architect, Jack Coia, who was working on the highly acclaimed Catholic Pavilion for the 1938 Empire Exhibition at Bellahouston Park at the time, was commissioned to design the church, which is in the Italian Romanesque style. It was paid for before it was completed, with the parishioners buying the bricks at a cost of sixpence each.
The church was still under under construction at the start of World War II in 1939. In 1941, permission was granted to complete the building work. It is the only church to have been erected in Glasgow during the war, in which 31 young men of the parish were listed as losing their lives.

St Columba's church under construction

The nave of the church was formed from a series of reinforced concrete portals, around which the rest of the church was constructed. The frame is infilled with glass and brick topped by a steep mansard roof finished with interlocking tiles.
The Stations of the Cross, which were created by Hugh Adam Crawford, originally featured in the Empire Exhibition of 1938 at Bellahouston Park.
In the sanctuary, behind the altar, there is a marble reredos and a carved crucifix by sculptor, Benno Schotz, who was Head of Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art from 1938 until his retirement in 1961.

View of St Columba's Church from altar

View from altar, looking to mural of the life of St Columba by Terry Meechan


Sanctuary of St Columba's church

Sanctuary and altar of St Columba's church, featuring reredos and crucifix by Benno Schotz


Side aisle at St Columba's church

Side aisle at St Columba's church leading to Lady Altar


Plastered ceiling over sanctuary at St Columba's Church

Plastered ceiling over sanctuary at St Columba's Church


External view of sanctuary at eastern end of St Columba's Church

External view of sanctuary at eastern end of St Columba's Church


Granite rock from the island of Iona on display at St Columba's Church

Granite rock from the island of Iona on display at St Columba's Church


Carved stonework over central entrance of St Columba's Church

Carved stonework over central entrance of St Columba's Church


Stations of the Cross in the brickwork between the concrete portals of St Columba's Church

Stations of the Cross in the brickwork between the concrete portals of St Columba's Church


Front of St Columba's Church at Hopehill Road

Front of St Columba's Church at Hopehill Road


Upwards view of front of St Columba's Church

Upwards view of front of St Columba's Church


Plaque at St Columba's Church outlining the history of the building

Plaque at St Columba's Church outlining the history of the building


Presbytery at St Columba's Church

Presbytery at St Columba's Church, occupied since 2007 by Glasgow's Dominican community


Glazed cross viewed from inside St Columba's Church

Glazed cross viewed from inside St Columba's Church


Crucifix at St Columba's Church by sculptor, Benno Schotz

Crucifix at St Columba's Church by sculptor, Benno Schotz


South facing side of St Columba's Church

South facing side of St Columba's Church showing tiled mansard roof and vents


View of front of St Columba's Church from the south

View of front of St Columba's Church from the south


View of St Columba's Church from the north west

View of St Columba's Church from the north west


Garden at St Columba's Church

Garden at St Columba's Church


 

Early works of Jack Coia

St Anne's Church, Dennistoun

St Columba's Church, Woodside

St Charles' Church, North Kelvinside

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All original artwork, photography and text ©Gerald Blaikie 2014
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