ST COLUMBA’S CHURCH HISTORY
In the summer of 1979 Fr. Myles Lovell, a Jesuit priest, arrived in Bridge of Don to find a suitable venue for a Mass Centre. He was directed to the soon to be opened “new” Bridge of Don Academy and Community Centre, where he was allocated the Senior Pupils Area,Cross at the back of the church and the first Mass was held on the last Sunday in September with about twenty people.The numbers grew and there was support from FMM Sisters who held catechism classes and visited families in the area. There was weekday Mass on Tuesday evenings, and bible study groups in houses. With coffee after Mass, people were happy to stay behind and meet each other, and help dismantle the altar and put away chairs.The School was used for nearly four years, with the numbers attending growing steadily. Cheese and Wine evenings and Christmas Sales of Work and other events helped to raise funds for a church building, and eventually it happened.
Bishop Mario Conti and Dr. Stewart Todd, (Minister of St. Machar’s Cathedral) were each looking for land on which to build a church in Bridge of Don, and it was decided to build adjoining churches on ground adjacent to the Academy.
St. Columba’s Ecumenical Church Centre is jointly owned by the Roman Catholic ChurchThe sanctuary area during ordinary time and the Church of Scotland, a situation unique in Scotland. The Centre comprises two places of worship, the larger one (the Church of Scotland) also serving as a Church Hall.
In the Catholic Chapel the Altar, Font and the support for the Tabernacle are of Aberdeen granite. The antique Tabernacle, a gift from Marydale Cannich, has an embossed golden door representing the Lamb in majesty. The statues of Our Lady and St. Columba were commissioned from local artist Mrs. Anne Davidson.
The Centre was dedicated on Wednesday 7th September, 1983 in the presence of Rev. J. Fraser McLuskey, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, other invited guests and members of both congregations. The service began in the Church of Scotland and then processed into the Catholic Church for the final prayers and Benediction. Afterwards there was an opportunity to mingle and chat with refreshments being served in the Church Hall.Statue of Our Lady by Anne Davidson
The Mass of Consecration of the Altar in the Catholic Chapel took place on Friday 8th June 1984, the feast of St. Columba, by Bishop Mario Joseph Conti.