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The Polish Chapel

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

What a sad sight to see when touring past what's left of St Simon's Church in Partick yesterday.

I have vivid memories of my Dad taking me here as it was slightly later than St Paul's. Can remember coming out and seeing lots of homeless people gathered on what could only be described as derelict wasteland in front of the old Volcano nightclub, of Trainspotting fame. The best thing about it was the ice cream and wafers after it in the old Criterion café on Dumbarton Road. The area now of course is jammed full of flats.

A historic site as the first Catholic church in Glasgow's West End and the third in the city overall, after the Cathedral and St Mary's in the Calton.

The site of the original St Peters, mass was celebrated first here in 1858.

As the Catholic population grew, the site quickly became too small and the Church moved to the much larger site of the current St Peters on Hyndland Street, with the building being used almost like a church hall.

However, to meet the demand of the post war Polish population in Glasgow, who had fled to Glasgow to escape the Nazi occupation, the church began to celebrate mass in Polish and still to this day has two masses in Polish every week.

To celebrate the 150th year, approximately £0.4m was spent on the restoration of the chapel in 2008.

Hopefully, St Simon's or the Polish Chapel as it is to some, can re-emerge.

You can read more about the history of St Simon's here



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