Our Church

Brief History 

Saint Michael’s Parish was founded in 1946 to serve the west end of Dumbarton which until then was part of St Patrick’s parish. The parish comprises the neighbourhoods of Brucehill, Oxhill, Castlehill, Westcliff, Lennox Gardens, Kirktonhill, Westbridgend. Included within its boundaries is Levengrove Park where the chapel of St Serf, dating back to the time of King Robert the Bruce (early 1300s), once stood. The parish is also home to the Carmelite Monastery which is situated at Craigend House, once part of the Clerkhill convent/school of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

The foundation stone of St Michael’s church on Cardross Road was laid by Archbishop Donald Campbell on 23 November 1952. The church, designed by Jack Coia, was opened 18 months later on 23 May 1954. Like many of Coia’s creations, it is a listed building (‘B’ category). Built at a cost of £90,000, materials were still in short supply in this post-war period so the original roof was of corrugated asbestos. This was replaced with copper in the early 1960s.

The Crucifix on the sanctuary wall was donated by St Patrick's High School which used to stand alongside the church – where St Michael’s Primary School is now situated.

The distinctive Stations of the Cross were painted by John McLaughlin who was principal teacher of Art in St Patrick's High School.

The statue of Saint Michael near the rear side entrance of the church is by Benno Schotz (1891-1984), a Jewish immigrant to Glasgow from Estonia, who completed a number of works for Catholic churches. The St Michael sculpture was erected in memory of Fr Jeremiah O'Leary, the parish priest at the time of the building of the church.

The Lewis Organ was first built in the High Church in Dumbarton in 1903 and accompanied worship there until Christmas 1976. It was rebuilt in St Michael's and rededicated on 19 January 1981.

To mark the Golden Jubilee of the parish in 1996, stained glass windows were individually donated and parishioners contributed to the impressive Saint Michael Window in the choir balcony. The windows were designed jointly by the then parish priest, Fr Harry Parkinson, and Ormsby of Scarisbrick, whose artisans constructed them.

St Michael's At Christmas

St Michael's Tower Calvary


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