Glasgow & West Scotland

Some of Glasgow's Catholic parishes 'may close'

Roman Catholic parishes in Glasgow could face closure or amalgamation as part of plans to reorganise resources.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow is launching a consultation with parishioners amid changes in congregation numbers.

The move is being driven by the city's falling population and a shift in whereabouts Catholics live in Glasgow.

The church said there was no "hit list" or target number of parishes that would close but that closures or amalgamations were a possibility.

Ronnie Convery, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow, said: "It is a consultation about rearranging our resources to match our buildings and priests to where people are.

Population move

"At the moment it's largely based on a model from the 1950s and the emergence of new housing schemes all over the city.

"These areas grew in the 50s, 60s and 70s but by the 80s they were beginning to depopulate, so we ended up with areas with churches but virtually no population, and the population has moved to another area of the city where it's bursting at the seams."

Mr Convery said the church was clarifying where its resources lay presently and where they needed to be in the future.

He said: "We want to get the whole Archdiocese thinking about how to reconfigure for the 21st century."

The population of the city of Glasgow has dropped from 1.1 million to 585,000 in the past 40 years, he said.

Parishoners leaflet

There are 200,000 Catholics in the wider Archdiocese area, which has 93 parishes and 200 priests.

The consultation will be launched on Sunday, when parishioners will be handed the leaflet titled "This Affects You", which asks people to think about their local parish and what would be the ideal set-up.

By next spring representatives from parishes will meet priests to discuss people's responses and just before Easter priests will give feedback to the Archbishop, Philip Tartaglia.

Mr Convery said: "I think people will be glad to be consulted. In the past people complained about decisions being made from on high without a chance to hear their side.

"I think people will be generally glad to be encouraged to feed back about their own experience of the church in their own area."

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