This article by parishioner Tom Hendry was first published here in September 2015.

Sir Christopher Wren was the architect of St Paul's Cathedral in London, and he is interred there within the crypt. Anyone who has visited St Paul's might recall that there is a plaque in his memory which includes the words "LECTOR SI MONUMENTUM REQUIRIS CIRCUMSPICE", which translate as "Reader, if you seek his monument - look around you".

On 21 August 2008 our then Parish Priest Fr Ryan quoted these words in his homily at the Requiem Mass for parishioner Jim Douglas. The words were well chosen, and some of the fruits of Jim's labours were illuminating the church on that very morning. Among other things, Jim had over many years done all sorts of electrical jobs around the church. For example, he installed various spotlights which we can still see today. He also changed light bulbs - not just the "Ordinary Level" bulbs under the Gallery, but the "Higher Level" ones way up there, high above our heads. To change these he used his trusty breadboard which spread his weight over the rafters.

Jim was a parishioner when our building was consecrated and became our church building. As he did not work for Gillespie, Kidd and Coia no one would say that he had a hand in the architecture of our building, but surely he did contribute towards the ever-evolving architecture of our church building.

For some time before Jim died he was not able to do as much work as he had once done. Fortunately, our parishioner Joe Gallacher - already a prodigious worker - took over the high-level light bulb changing and he has kept us out of the dark ever since. Anyone who knows what work goes on in our church building knows that Joe is always at the heart of it. Andy MacMillan knew this and gave Joe a copy of "Gillespie, Kidd & Coia: Architecture 1956-1987" inscribed "To Joseph Gallacher for giving so much of his time and enthusiasm to the care of our church. With great respect, Andy MacMillan." (I know this because Joe recently lent me the book.) Anyone who doesn't know what work goes on in our church could do worse than look at the two light panels, one in the side chapel and one at the back of the church. Have a look and see who made them.

If you know where to look, there are within our church building other objects which can tell stories. One that gives me fond memories is a very simple one - a nail. This can be found hammered into the wall just to the right of the Sanctuary lamp. You might know that within the Sanctuary lamp there is a candle, which lasts for about a week. Then it needs to be changed. When I see that nail I think of a man who changed candles more than a thousand times - I think of Bernard Kilpatrick, for many years our sacristan and general factotum. Bernard used this nail as a mountaineer would use a piton, hanging on for dear life as he swapped the candles.

Another I think of is Sister Sheila. What a woman! As Canon Ryan would say she could answer the back door, front door and telephone all at the same time - while she was cooking the dinner. Sister spent many, many hours in our church building - often early in the morning with no heating on. Parishioners would perhaps notice that when we were fortunate to have Sister there always seemed to be candles lit beside our statues of The Sacred Heart and St Bride. Well, guess who lit them. So how did a petite person like Sister Sheila manage to reach up to position the candle at the statue of The Sacred Heart? She climbed up on the pews! If you look you will see that the pews are more worn beside that statue than elsewhere.

The last of these few examples makes me think of Arnolfo di Cambio's sculpture of St Peter in St Peter's Basilica in Rome. This sculpture has its feet worn down by generations of pilgrims, who have kissed them and patted them. What is lost in the sculpture is outweighed by the evidence of devotion.

By all means study the architecture of our building and imagine it as it was in 1964, but don't forget the devotion of the years since which can be seen in the architecture of our church building. You will see it if you look around you.

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