Church prepares to welcome Games visitors

St Aloysius Church in Glasgow is preparing to welcome an influx of visitors and worshippers during the Commonwealth Games. It is laying on extra tours of the 100-year-old Jesuit church and has limited the times of Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at weekends.

The Commonwealth Games get underway this evening until 3 August, and tens of thousands are expected to attend events. St Aloysius Church on Rose Street in the Garnethill area of the city is in prime position for athletes and supporters to stop off for prayer, attend Mass or simply admire the building. It will be remaining open until 9pm each evening. The church was opened in 1910 and is built in the Renaissance style of the 17th century, after the Cathedral of Namur, Belgium. It contains the National Shrine to St John Ogilvie SJ, Scotland's only post-Reformation saint.

On the two Sundays of the Games, there will be road closures due to the Marathon and the Cycling, which may be disruptive for people wishing to get to the church. The 9pm Sunday Mass at St Aloysius is claimed to be the latest in Europe!

“Although our Masses and confession will be at their usual times, we have made special arrangements for our church during the Games,” says parish priest Fr Tim Curtis SJ. “Because we are expecting lots of visitors, Exposition will be from 4.30 on Saturday (instead of 2pm) and 5 o’clock on Sunday. There will also be tours of the church starting at 10am, 3pm and 7pm, with the shop open between 10.30 and 1.15pm.”

“The parish flyer for the Commonwealth Games is available at the back of the church in five languages,” adds Fr Curtis, “and extra volunteers have been recruited to act as guides and welcomers for visitors. We look forward to seeing many extra people pass through our doors!”