On 27 September St Patrick's Shop opens selling all kinds of religious objects. It works hand in hand, side by side with the Tearoom.
1999 The centenary chapel was receiving a facelift and on a visit to Fatima the Parish Priest found a set of ceramic stations of the cross which are now incorporated into the tiling of the chapel. Likewise paintings of The Good Shepherd, The Garden of Gethsemane and the Last Supper by artist Veronica Gilday are accommodated in the tiling.
The New Millenium, 2000 St. Patrick's Parish celebrated the New Millenium with great style but also in a deeply spiritual way. As the bells were ringing to welcome the year 2000 the Parish Hall was packed to capacity with parishioners and friends
2000 June A group from the parish under the leadership of James O'Neill went on pilgrimage to the Passion Play in Oberammergau.
2001 The existing Parish Hall although still in good condition after the 1996 renovation and extension was found to be inadequate to provide for the social activities of the parish. The tearoom established in August 1996 for one thing had outgrown the hall. It was decided that it needed to be replaced by a bigger building with better facilities. This undertaking proved to be one of the miracles of our time. The work on building the present structure began in March 2001 and was the venue for a wedding reception
At a parish meeting the Parish Priest agreed a deal with the committee that they could decide on a name for the smaller hall and he would name the larger hall and so the halls are called Iona and Mayo representing the Scottish and Irish roots of the parish.
2001: 17 June The Catholic community of Scotland and further afield were shocked and saddened at the news of the death of Thomas Joseph Cardinal Winning the leading Catholic churchman
2003 The final piece of the hall is put in place. A tower is erected and a large storeroom is added to the shop. An extra kitchen is added on the ground floor of the tower to cope with catering for functions. There is now a clock in the tower with synchronised bells at the church. The cost was £43,000. Again money paid in VAT was reclaimed.
2005 April A cloud of sadness descended upon the world with the news of the death of Pope John Paul 11. Several members of the St. Patrick's community were attending a dinner and dance in the hall for a social celebration of Easter when the news came that the Holy Father was breathing his last. The function ended and the church was opened to allow people to come and pray for his happy and peaceful death. Many came to join in thecontinuous chain of prayer until midnight. The following week the church was full to capacity for a special mass for the repose of his soul.
2006 Renovation of St. Patrick's Church building Practically the whole of this year was taken up with the most extensive overhaul the church had since the day it was first built. The early part of the year was taken up with work on the exterior and the latter part with interior work. During this time there was tremendous inconvenience for everyone but no complaints. The church was 110 years old and the old lady was showing her age and in serious need of repair.
THE EXTERIOR work is best described in the words of Archie Richmond of Richmond Architects, RIAS Accreditation in Building Conservation, who secured the contract of designing and guiding the work: "CONSERVATION ROOF WORKS AT ST. PATRICK'S R.C. CHURCH, COATBRIDGE"
Following receipt of the statutory consents, the preparation of tender documents and obtaining competitive tenders, the main contractor for the project, R & R Construction (Scotland) Ltd. was appointed. The works commenced on site on 16 January 2006 and were completed on 14 July 2006.
This part of the work was completed two days ahead of schedule
THE INTERIOR There was no main contractor for the interior work. Contractors dealt directly with the Parish Priest having been appointed by him on a competitive basis. The work consisted of Painting & Decorating, Woodwork, Marble work, Heating, Lighting, Tiling, Flooring, Plumbing. After the roofing the next biggest contract was the painting and decorating. Every square inch of the church got a makeover. There was extensive gold leaf restoration in the sanctuary area. There was much artwork and various inscriptions added including Laudate Dominum Omnes Gentes (Praise the Lord all nations) above the main altar.
The sanctuary lamp was returned to a central point in the sanctuary drawing one's eye to the tabernacle. Marble panels were fitted in the sanctuary. New marmoleum floor covering was fitted throughout with some liturgical designs inserted in the work. The heating system was overhauled and upgraded. New lighting was installed throughout. Toilets were completely
The old side entrance which is wheelchair friendly was completely refurbished and given the dignity of a proper church entrance. It also got a new name, Mary's Gate. A restored statue of Our Lady welcomes people and the Holy Water Font is a restored baptismal font from the 19th. Century. This work was started in August 2006 and completed on 15 December 2006. During this time weekday masses were celebrated in the Iona suite and weekend masses in the church under difficult conditions. Every Friday a major cleanup was completed by volunteers. Again the Parish Priest expressed his satisfaction with the entire job and praised the parishioners for their forbearance throughout the year.
The cost of the entire project was £597,793 but because St. Patrick's is a listed building we were refunded £67,969 for VAT payments.
The current family of parishioners enthusiastically took ownership of the project and supported a robust fundraising campaign. A five year plan was put in place and early signs were very
2006: June St. Patrick's High School closes its doors for the
last time and the school is merged with Columba High School. The merged schools enter a
new school building under the name of St. Andrew. Many people in the
St. Patrick's community including the Parish Priest expressed serious regret at this
development. St. Patrick's had lost a prime site close to the Town Centre but worse still
a name had disappeared that had been synonymous with Catholic Education throughout the
West of Scotland. 160 years of history and tradition had been wiped out. Nowhere in
Lanarkshire is there a High School with
St. Patrick above the door. How or why it happened is a mystery. There were many questions but few if any convincing answers.
2006: December One of the first services in the newly refurbished St. Patrick's was the Inter Faith Carol Service with our friends and neighbours from St. Andrew's Church of Scotland. This is now an Annual feature which is alternated yearabout and eagerly anticipated.
2007: 7th February The President of Ireland, President Mary McAleese while on a visit to Scotland paid a visit to St. Patrick's Church where she signed the Baptismal and Marriage registers and afterwards to St. Patrick's Tearoom where she was given a cordial welcome. In her speech she paid tribute to the multitudes of Irish people who found refuge in Coatbridge during and after famine times and made mention of the contribution they made to life and industry throughout Scotland.
2007 Stained glass windows were installed in the Centenary Chapel following the theme of the Mysteries of Light. Stained glass designer and manufacturer Moira Parker of Rainbow Glass Studios, Prestwick, sat with the Parish Priest and Pastoral Assistant on several occasions to discuss details in the design.2007: August A new school is opened on the former site of
St. Patrick's. It is occupied by Coatbridge High School. The community of St. Patrick's wish them well in their new home.
2008: April A lasting monument to the former St. Patrick's High School is erected at the entrance to Mary's Gate, St. Patrick's Church and is financed by contributions from former pupils. It is considered that this is the only appropriate venue to erect such a monument. Worked into the design in stone is the school crest and celtic cross. On the 11 June there was a Mass of thanksgiving for all that the school had achieved and a dedication of the monument.
2008: 2 September was a happy day for the parish community. One of our parishioners, Alex Stewart is ordained to the Permanent Diaconate. The parish support him in prayer. His ministry includes pastoral work at Monklands Hospital and in the merged parishes of St. Stephen's and St. Bernard's, Coatbridge.
2009: February - June "Father" Willis organ from Clifton Parish Church, Coatbridge finds a new home in St. Patrick's Church, Coatbridge.
This was a remarkable event. It was obvious that the church organ was nearing the end of its life and in need of serious and expensive rebuilding. The organ tuner was aware that there was an excellent pipe organ in the nearby Clifton Parish Church which was shortly due to close down. Perhaps an approach could be made to the Board of St. Andrew's Church ofScotland with which Clifton Parish Church was due to merge. The approach met with a favourable response and so the work of dismantling, storing and rebuilding began. The work was completed in June to the complete satisfaction of everyone. The whole project galvanised the relationship of the Catholic and Church of Scotland Communities.
2009: Sunday 9th November A Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving for the gift of the organ takes place in St. Patrick's Church.
2010: June A group of 50 people from St. Patrick's visit Oberammergau for the Passion Play. Again this was led by James O'Neill. It was combined with leisure time in various parts of Germany and Austria.2010: September Pope Benedict XVI visits the UK and begins his visit in Scotland. The highlight of the Scottish visit was a Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park on 16 September. Like all other parishes St. Patrick's prepared enthusiastically and vigorously for the visit. 900 pilgrims departed from the church in a fleet of buses. Hundreds more waved them off. It was a sight that will remain forever in the memory and a most wonderful and memorable day was experienced. The Holy Father endeared himself to all. The entire visit was a resounding success. Later, on a visit to the parish, Cardinal O'Brien expressed his gratitude to the Parish
2011 On 11 June the Tearoom celebrates its 15th Anniversary. It did catch on and provides a great service for the people of Coatbridge and further afield, thanks to the wonderful voluntary staff who keep it up and going.
2011: July Plans are in hand currently to run a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2012. The level of interest shown meant that to satisfy demand two trips will be run in September and October 2012.
2011: AugustTen young people from the parish attend the World Youth Day in Madrid to share some time with the Holy Father Pope Benedict.
This whetted the appetite of some parishioners who wished to explore the possibility of a Parish Pilgrimage. The Parish Priest announced an information evening having researched and surveyed various Tour Companies. This information dealt with things like itinerary, departure dates and cost. The response to the information evening was overwhelming to the extent that in the end it was decided to run two trips so that nobody would be disappointed. It was decided to run a 10 day pilgrimage in September 2012 and an 8 day pilgrimage the following month. Before too long both pilgrimages were fully booked and those who took part in both found the experience very rewarding and in terms of the gospel very enriching. A regular comment would be “It brought the scriptures alive”. Everyone had a highlight place or event. While for some it was Bethlehem, Jerusalem or Bethany for others it was Sea of Galilee, Nazareth or Cana.
NOTE 1: In the first decade of the 21st. Century (2000-2009) 842 baptisms took place, 321 couples were married and 464 funeral services were conducted in St. Patrick's.
During the same 10 year period the St Patrick's community contributed to Special Collections for various charities the amount of £45,519. The Parish Priest is very pleased with this as it shows that the Gospel message of caring for others is alive and well in St Patrick's.
NOTE 2: On 24 August 1995 Father Eamonn Sweeney and Sister Moira Duffy arrived and formed the Pastoral Team. Sixteen years later this team is still in place and although they are not as young as they used to be they still treasure every new day in St. Patrick'. They always acknowledge the support and co-operation they receive from the community in all that they do.