New life for parochial hall has saved it from closure

Fr Krzysztof is delighted with the  completely revamped St Patrick's parochial hall
Fr Krzysztof is delighted with the completely revamped St Patrick's parochial hall

St Patrick’s parochial hall in Craigneuk has officially reopened following an extensive refurbishment.

The hall had fallen into a very poor state of repair and there was a very real possibility of it being closed completely.

Now a revamp of the building has included full central heating replacement, full rewiring, decoration, new carpeting and roof repairs, some bathrooms were also upgraded as well as the kitchen areas.

Fr Krzysztof Garwolinski said: “Over a year ago we were in a precarious position in relation to the viability of our hall remaining in use due to its very poor state of repair.

“Had the hall closed this would’ve been a terrible loss to not only our parishioners, but also the wider Craigneuk community. 

“Following a conversation with former councillor Gary O’Rorke, who has experience in the building industry, we decided with our limited funds to look at the possibility of fully refurbishing the hall.

“Gary indicated both Frank McKay and Sam Love were willing to help, although we established quickly the task we faced was daunting.

“As it is a really large period building our original costing to undertake all the repairs was frightening so I couldn’t see how it was affordable.

“However, I knew we must try everything we could and approached local businesses with the relevant expertise to see if they could advise or help in some way. 

“With the help of Gary, Frank and Sam the situation was explained to local businesses about how the refurbished hall would help the community of Craigneuk.

“When I got replies back from a variety of business and individuals I was delighted and also humbled by their response and generosity.”

Over the next few months an action plan was put in place to tackle all the works necessary to bring the building up to 21st century standards.

Having received quotes for around £32,000 to fix the heating system Saltire director John Reynolds stepped in and saved the church £25,000.

He explained: “On speaking to Fr Krzysztof I became aware what the success of this project would mean to the people of Craigneuk.

“I approached suppliers to explain the situation and they were very helpful.

“I then organised some of our engineers and apprentices to install this over a weekend and to their great credit they gave up their time freely.”

Also giving their time and experience were Mears Group and associated companies, painting and decorating companies Millbank and Brannock and Joe Donnelly who did the flooring.

Fr Krzysztof said: “The trades people and apprentices who completed this project shows not only the extraordinary skills we have locally, but also generosity of spirit, they are a credit to both their companies and their community.

“I can’t express enough gratitude for the generosity we received from Saltire, Mears Group, Millbank and Brannock, as well as the suppliers such as PTS plumbing supplies, Worcester-Bosch central heating, Myson Radiators, Kilmartin Fanned Convectors and David Robb at Magma clean system filters.

“We thank them all and also Gary O’Rorke, Frank McKay and Sam Love who played a crucial part and we are now looking forward to many different events taking place in our wonderful church hall.”