This yr marks the sixtieth anniversary of the opening of the fashionable church which changed it however many readers will nonetheless keep in mind the unique constructing on the identical web site.
It had served the Catholic neighborhood in Falkirk for over a century from the time in 1843 when numerous households from the Highlands and from Eire had settled within the space on account of the development of the canals and railways.
For just a few years earlier than this visiting monks used employed rooms for companies till the congregation was massive sufficient to finance a church of their very own.
Father Paul Maclachlan from Glenlivet was appointed as Parish Priest and beneath his management the positioning on Hope Road was bought and the church erected.
It was described on the time as an “elegant construction” which shaped a “conspicuous object within the thriving city of Falkirk”.
For the following 112 years the church served a rising Catholic neighborhood till the tragic occasions of twenty first October 1955 when a hearth broke out through the evening within the vestry which joined the church to the monks’ home.
It unfold throughout the roof of the church itself and there was additionally an excessive amount of water injury.
The congregation determined that it was higher to exchange than restore and the daring choice was taken to go for what was then an extremely trendy design by the architect Alexander Conlin.
Whereas the work progressed companies have been held within the little ‘Catholic corridor’ in Manor Road which had as soon as been St Francis Faculty and within the Oddfellows Corridor already talked about.
The muse stone of the brand new church was laid in April 1960 by the then Archbishop Gordon Grey and he was available once more on twenty ninth October the next yr to conduct the opening service.
The constructing may be very putting each inside and outside.
The large ‘brick wall’ behind the altar with its 35 gold crosses attracted just a few feedback on the time however usually the sunshine and ethereal openness of the sanctuary was a welcome distinction to the outdated cramped Gothic of the sooner constructing.
The stained glass is especially enticing particularly the progressive work of Felix McCulloch which is an instance of the ‘ornamental software of automotive security glass’!
The good window on the east finish with its 5 triangular sections has scenes from the lifetime of St Francis.
It was designed by the French artist Edgar Blanchard from Lourdes.
After all it’s the outdoors that most individuals see.
Dominated by the large statue of St Francis by Maxwell Allan, there are additionally the 4 evangelists carved from concrete by Elizabeth Dempster and a effective wall plaque of the coat-of-arms of the Archbishop by the sculptor Hew Lorimer, the son of Sir Robert.
Just a few years in the past a nationwide organisation described the constructing as one of many prime ten trendy church buildings in Britain.
After 60 years it nonetheless has a really trendy look and, although it has various the Nineteen Sixties about its sq. strains, it appears to have averted a lot of the criticism geared toward buildings from that period.