Selkirk church marks 150th birthday milestone

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Saturday, April 9, will be a red letter day for Our Lady and St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Selkirk, which marks its 150th birthday this year.

At 6pm, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, the Most Reverent Leo Cushley, will celebrate a Vigil Mass before a packed congregation.

In so doing, His Grace will kick off the High Street church’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Later that evening, adherents of all ages will enjoy a social evening and buffet in the church hall.

The actual anniversary falls on April 22 and plans are under way to mark the occasion, with the publication of a commemorative booklet, charting the history of the Selkirk church.

The book will be professionally printed and has already attracted half-page advertisements from 11 local businesses in the town.

Congregation member Peter Birney, who is helping organise the celebrations, said he was still on the lookout for artifacts, including photographs and prayer sheets, to include in the booklet, along with the personal memories of church members.

“We have people who were around for the centenary in 1966 so it would be great to hear from them,” said Mr Birney.

The 300-seater church, officially opened in 1866 by Bishop John Strain, was built by Robert Hall & Son from Galashiels for the princely sum of £70 – donated by James Hope Scott QC of Abbotsford, who was married to the granddaughter of Sir Walter Scott.

Today, Vigil Masses are celebrated at the church every Saturday at 6pm by Father Kevin Murray, parish priest of Galashiels, Selkirk and Melrose.

Any reader who can assist Mr Birney in the preparation of the booklet, should contact him on 01750 21656.