The first church of St. Bride in Bothwell was the lovely little pre-Reformation church erected by Archibald, Lord Douglas—the Earl of Bothwell Castle—and dedicated to St. Bride, the patron saint of the Douglas family. During its long history, this church served not only the Earls of Bothwell, but the families of the neighbouring farms and manors. This original ” St. Bride’s ” has now been incorporated into the present collegiate church of St. Bride, which stands off Bothwell’s Main Street.
The Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in Scotland took place on 15 March 1878 when the village of Bothwell returned to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction and territory of the See of Glasgow. In that same year, 1878, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception founded a convent, school and chapel in Elmwood, and thus began their long and happy association with Bothwell.
In 1910, it was felt that a new parish was needed in the area, the Archbishop of Glasgow, Rt. Rev. John Maguire, canonically established a parish in Bothwell under the ancient patronage and title of St Bride. And so a church and a primary school were erected at the foot of Langside Road, to serve the people of Bothwell village, Bothwellhaugh, Bothwellpark and Viewpark. The first Parish Priest was Father John McMillan.
On 10th of June 1973 the feast of Pentecost, Bishop Francis Thomson, presided over the Solemn Opening of the new and strikingly modern Church of St Bride’s on Fallside Road. In the same year the Poor Clare monastery was founded next to the church. The sister’s who had moved from Blantyre, found a welcome new home amongst us, where they remain at the very heart of the parish’s spiritual life.
In 1977 the Convent School at Elmwood finally closed its doors, it had well served the educational needs of the Catholic population in Lanarkshire. The sisters moved to the bishop’s old house in Fife Crescent where they remained until they closed their foundation in Bothwell in 2000.
In the summer of 2003 while work was being carried out on St Bride’s Primary School, the school building caught fire and was razed to the ground. The parish, parents and teaching staff together with Mrs. Doyle, the Head Teacher all pulled together during this trying time to ensure the happy continuity of the children’s education. A wonderful new school was soon erected and blessed by the bishop at its opening in 2005.
In 2010 the Parish Community of St Bride’s celebrated the Centenary of its foundation with among other thing; some timely renovations to the church and the commission of a sacred work of art which expressed our history and faith.
Please click on the following link to download a copy of St Bride’s centenary booklet.