News from Europe

Catholic church burns down just two days after priest attacked

Just two days after a priest was attacked with a bottle in Edinburgh’s Catholic cathedral, a 163-year-old Catholic church in nearby Glasgow was engulfed in flames.


At around 2:40 a.m. on Wednesday morning, a team of 30 firefighters was dispatched to the parish church of St. Simon’s in Partick, a district within Glasgow’s leafy west end, where a large fire was consuming the building, the third oldest Catholic church in the city.

After evacuating the residents of neighboring buildings, the firefighters tackled the blaze. The historic landmark, however, was completely gutted within half an hour, according to a report in The Scotsman. One person was saved from inside the church before it was destroyed; no one was injured during the incident.

The church building, originally opened in 1858, was subject to a thorough restoration project between 2005 and 2008, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the church. Around £400,000 was raised for the project, half of which come from the efforts of the congregation, and the other half courtesy of a grant from Heritage Scotland. 

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow, in which St. Simon’s is situated, said that the demise of the church “will be a blow to people far beyond the west end of Glasgow.” 


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