The Cathedral Church of Saint Mirin in Paisley, dedicated to Saint Mirin the patron saint of Paisley, is the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Paisley and is the seat of the Bishop of Paisley, the Right Reverend John Keenan.
The former parish church of St Mirin was completed in 1931 close to the site of the original church of the same name which dated from 1808. The original building was the first stone-built Roman Catholic church in post-Reformation Scotland. The present building was raised to cathedral status in 1948 following the erection of the diocese in 1947.
The building is neo-Romanesque in style with a plain sandstone exterior and an airy arched interior. The chancel is principally of Italian marble. The cathedral, which is the largest church in the diocese, can accommodate around 1300 worshippers.
Of particular interest is the pulpit by Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, with a representation of the Sermon on the Mount sculpted in relief from blonde sandstone bearing the following inscriptions in Latin from the Letter of Saint James: In mansuetudine suscipite insitum verbum quod potest salvare animas vestras (‘Receive humbly the word that has been placed within you which can save your souls’) and Estote autem factores verbi et non auditores (‘Be doers of the word and not hearers only’). Also of note are the Art Deco Stations of the Cross designed by Kenneth King of Dublin which are painted on ceramic tiles.
In the apse, four colourful tripartite stained glass windows depict twelve angels, each of whom bears a symbol drawn from the Bible. Below them is a Latin inscription alluding to the Eucharist: Panis Angelicus Fit Panis Hominum Dat Panis Coelicus Figuris Terminum.
Opposite the cathedral, at the junction of Incle Street with Gauze Street and Glasgow Road, stands a bronze statue of St Mirin by Norman Galbraith, which was completed and unveiled in 2007.
In 2015 modifications to the main entrance, porch and frontage of the cathedral were completed.
Our Lady of Paisley
In ancient times, Paisley was famed throughout Scotland as one of our land’s four places of pilgrimage and devotion. Here, the shrine of Our Lady of Paisley was held in high esteem by the devout of the kingdom, from kings to commoners.
Paisley Abbey was enclosed by a mile-long wall with statues in its niches, and one of the Blessed Virgin Mary faced the Glasgow Road. Near it was the inscription, Hac ne vade via nisi dixeris Ave Maria. Sit semper veni via, qui non tibi dicet Ave (‘Go not this way unless you have said Hail Mary. Let him be always a wanderer who will not say Hail to thee’).
You are warmly encouraged to say an Ave Maria every day for Bishop John Keenan, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Paisley.
Our diocese is on the way to renewal but we dare not move forward without saying our Ave. With an Ave a day, we will not wander aimlessly but will reach Our Lady’s hope for us to hear her Son say to Paisley, “See, I make all things new!”