Bothwell Parish Church is the oldest Collegiate Church in Scotland in which worship is still held. Locally, it is referred to as The Cathedral of Lanarkshire. The building is the principal Grade ‘A’ Listed Building in central and Southwest Scotland.
The Quire is the oldest part of the current building. With 12th century foundations, the present Quire was rebuilt in the 14th century and consecrated in 1398. Though the building of the church has changed dramatically over the centuries, the Quire has been in continuous use unchanged.
Throughout its long life, the Quire has witnessed the changing liturgies of Christian Worship in Scotland from Roman Catholicism, through Episcopalianism to Presbyterianism. It has been a place for royal weddings and has housed military forces engaged in battle. Today, it contains a Sacristy of outstanding architectural importance, memorials of major significance for Scottish history and superb stained-glass by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and more contemporary tapestries as well as the Bothwell Embroideries. A place of great beauty, prayer and peace, it is much visited by tourists and worshippers alike.
Violent storms during the winter of 2011 brought substantial downfall of masonry from the ceiling of our 14th century Quire. Investigation was immediately carried out by our architect and officials from South Lanarkshire Council. The Quire was deemed unsafe for public use, emptied of contents and vacated. Since last Easter, it has been separated from the Crossing and Nave of the church by a protective wall. And so, sadly, it remains.
WHAT CAUSED THE PROBLEM ?
Investigation by engineers has discovered that the foundations of the Quire are 800 years old and are constructed on clay. During the last 80 years, the foundations along the south wall of the Quire have slipped. This has caused the wall to move outwards by some 11 inches and the massively heavy 600 year old stone roof-slabs to become displaced. The result is serious damage to the structure of the Quire building, the priceless Burne-Jones stained-glass windows and the internal stone ornamentation of the Quire ceiling.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
The foundations need to be secured, the walls of the Quire building stabilised and the Quire roof stripped of its stone covering, and a solid structure inserted upon which the ancient stone roof-slabs can be replaced. Thereafter, stone indentation is required, the stained-glass windows removed, restored and replaced and the memorials refurbished.
WHY MUST THIS WORK BE DONE?
Very simply because, unless this restorative work is carried out as soon as possible, the building of the Quire will degenerate until it becomes a ruin. Scotland, as a nation, would then lose for ever a place of unique historical, architectural and social significance. The important necessity of this project for the ongoing witness of the Christian Church in Scotland is clearly demonstrated by the willing support of:
our Royal Patron
Her Royal Highness
Princess Anne, The Princess Royal
and our Patrons
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow
The Episcopal Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway
The Dean of the Chapel Royal in
Scotland (Church of Scotland).
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The total project cost, from start to finish, is £2million.
HOW IS THIS MONEY BEING RAISED?
Already just over £1million has been secured !
- Funding has been secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Patersons Quarries of Greenoakhill (Landfill Trust).
- Other monies have come from congregational donations.
- A congregational Appeal has been launched.
- An Appeal has also been launched nationally and internationally in Canada and the United States of America (where we have obtained charity status).
- Numerous applications have been made to UK wide Grant funding agencies.
- With the support of South Lanarkshire Council, our special Appeal Video can be viewed on YouTube.