1871-1886 Building the Church

On 16th May 1871 the people of Garnkirk, Cardowan and surrounding areas wrote to the Archbishop to request a Catholic Church be built in the area with the dual purpose of acting as a Church and school. This petition was well received by the Archbishop and he directed that the Finance Board along with assistance from Father O''Keeffe, should seek a suitable site in the Stepps area. In a letter dated 15th April 1873 the only suitable site found at the time was at the North of Cumbernauld Road, it was agreed that a Priest from Coatbridge would temporarily supply the Parish until a permanent appointment was made. For unknown reasons this site was not chosen, though there are reports that Mass was said on this site for a short period of time.

After a number of attempts to acquire a site, Rev. M. O''Keeffe finally succeeded in procuring a site and building a small but elegant Gothic building for around 550 people in Cardowan. It is not known exactly how much the Church and chapel house cost to build, but a financial statement for the Parish dated 1st January 1876 noted a loan from the diocese fro £1,870. The formal opening of the Church took place on Sunday 14th November 1875. Archbishop Eyre was present in the Sanctuary whilst Rev. George McBrearty sung Mass, also in attendance was the first Parish Priest, Father Francis Hughes. Father Hughes worked at St. Joseph''s, Cardowan for almost eleven years.

St. Joseph''s Parish Church, Stepps

1921-1927 Golden Jubilee & Church Renovations

Father Patrick Diamond became Parish Priest at St. Joseph''s in 1921 and during his time here he celebrated the Churches Golden Jubilee on the 5th December 1925, in addition to this he also celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination. On the Golden Jubilee of St. Joseph''s, Archbishop Mackintosh was present and gave Benediction to a crowded congregation. Celebrating the fifty years of St. Joseph''s congregation the Archbishop was pleased with the progress made in the Parish.

 

Father Diamond carried out the greatest structural changes to the church since they were built. In 1927, William McGhee & Sons of Paisley were given the contract for a number of changes. The choir which was on a raised platform at the rear of the Church was raised even further to its current position. Two confessional were added to the South side of the Church. Replacing the glass conservatory between the Church and presbytery, a permanent stone sacristy was built , central heating and electricity were also installed. Having improved the Church, he then purchased land opposite the Church and built a parochial hall.

1975 The Centenary

On Sunday 16th November 1975 St. Joseph''s Church celebrated its centenary, this great event was attended by many guests including the Right Reverend Francis Thomson, Bishop of Motherwell. The Bishop in his opening address praised the first parishioners who built the Church and these words were echoed by Father Samuel McGinness when he delivered an inspirational homily to the congregation. The Prayers of the Faithful were lead by the Parish Priest, Father Flack and continued by Mr. McElveen.

 

Centenary Mass at St. Joseph''s Church, Stepps

Recent Years

The Church has recently undertaken some of the biggest changes in many years. In the past few years the Church has already improved the car parking facilities and the roof. The Parish has now seen other big changes in the Church with a new heating system, new lights as well as a number of improvements to the decoration of St. Joseph''s Church.