Lochaber Cluster

St. Mary’s, Fort William

Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church stands on Fort William’s Belford Road, the main road heading north-east out of the town, just beyond the Belford Hospital. It lies parallel to the road and the building is dominated by the massive tower at its north-eastern end, oddly reminiscent of a castle keep.

The Church of the Immaculate Conception, as it is sometimes also known, was designed by the architect Reginald Fairlie. He was a Scottish architect best known for his prolific output of Roman Catholic churches in Scotland from the 1920s to the early 1950s, but who was also responsible for a wide range of other work across the country. Construction of St Mary’s began in 1933, and the church was blessed and opened on Sunday, 14th October 1934 by Bishop Donald Martin, the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.

St. John’s, Caol

St. John’s the Evangelist Parish, Caol, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Argyll & the Isles. The church was blessed on Sunday, 14th June 1970 by His Eminence Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray, the Archbishop and Metropolitan of St. Andrew’s and Edinburgh.

The concelebrants for the solemn opening were: Bishop Stephen McGill, the Bishop of Paisley; Bishop Colin Macpherson, the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles; Monsignor Ewen Macinnes, V.G; and  Fr. John Morrison , parish priest of St. Anne’s  Church, Corpach, which was later closed due to the new church built in Caol. Fr. John Morrison became the first parish priest of St. John’s Evangelist, Caol.

St. Mary & St. Finnan, Glenfinnan

The Church of St Mary and St Finnan was formally dedicated by Archbishop Eyre, Administrator of the Church’s Western District, assisted by two English bishops, on 19 August 1873, in the presence of a gathering that included MacDonald of Glenaladale, whose seat was at Glenfinnan House.

The Church is situated in one of the most picturesque and historically significant areas in the Highlands; standing at the head of Loch Shiel, where Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard before the gathered clans. Our church is a silent witness to a yet more ancient arrival, that of the faith of St Finnan and the Celtic saints which has echoed in each generation since an enduring testament to the living Catholic Faith of her people.

St. Agnes, Glenuig

Glenuig is a tiny community of just over thirty folk located in the parish of Moidart in remote west Lochaber. Nowadays it is taken to include the neighbouring settlements of Samalaman and Alt Ruadh, and contains 21 houses in permanent occupation plus four holiday homes. In a wider sense it includes the nearby hamlets of Roshven and Lochailort, bringing the population over a distance of eight miles to just over fifty.


Our Lady of the Angels, Mingarry

Mingarry Lodges are situated in the former grounds of Our Lady of The Angels Catholic Church, being separated off when The Church sold off The Old Chapel House and grounds in the late 1980s. The Church and Chapel House both date from the 1860s, having been commissioned by James Robert Hope Scott and built by the architect Goldie.  The church was built in an eminent position using a handsome grey granite found locally and used to be a remarkable feature in the landscape for miles around.