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The Next Stage


The parish now had a house and this gave a sense of progress. At last there was a heart to the parish. A site for the church was approved and plans were prepared. The site was at the corner of Mountcastle Drive South and Bingham Drive, in the centre of the parish and only two minutes walk from the presbytery. Building work started in 1965 and was scheduled for completion in June 1966.However all did not go well. Just before the church was to be opened a snag developed. Water was found getting into a heating duct and a lengthy delay followed.Sunday services had to continue in the Miners' Institute. A diocesan official said. "There was a difficulty with water but no flooding. The area has a very high ´water table´ and the church has heavy foundations. There was trouble with damp getting into a heating duct. The delay has been an exhaustive testing of sealing. We want to be certain things are right". However, all was not bad news. It was in 1966 that the parish celebrated the ordination of one of its parishioners. Tom Connelly, son of Mr and Mrs Bernard Connelly of Northfield was ordained to the priesthood. St Mary Magdalene's parish had its first priest. Father Connelly served as priest and parish priest in the Motherwell diocese. For several years, prior to his death in September 2000 he was the Press Officer and spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Scotland.

When the church, which had stood empty for almost 18 months was used for the first time on 24th December 1967, a newspaper reported this:-

New R.C. Church
In Use
18 month delay

While waiting for the completion of the church preparations were under way for the furbishings and a great deal of thought and hard work went into this task. This is evident even today when one enters the church. The list of contents makes interesting reading.

After a delay of about 18 months the new Roman Catholic Church of St Mary Magdalene, in Mountcastle Drive South, Edinburgh, was used for the first time.

The building, which includes a small hall, was due to be completed in May 1966, but the parish priest, the Rev Lawrence Glancey said, yesterday, that waterlogging of the site had caused a delay of the opening.

For the past six years parishioners from the Bingham and Magdalene area have worshipped in the Jewel miners' welfare institute. Other activities have been held in school halls.

Father Glancey said his parishioners had already paid off about one fifth of the £46000 cost of the project. The building will be formally opened by the Most Rev Gordon Gray, R.C. Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

  St Mary Magdalenes First Holy Communion
First Holy Communion Group

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Parish Priest
Father Jock Dalrymple
0131 669 5447

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