St Stephen’s Church in Blairgowrie has recently undergone a significant restoration programme supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This building, somewhat hidden up a side street in the town, is of huge historical significance, having been designed by E W Pugin, a member of the Pugin architectural dynasty, best known for their plans for the Houses of Parliament in London.
Over the 23 years of his career, EW Pugin’s designs for Catholic places of worship constituted Cathedrals, Parish Churches, Chapels and Schoolroom buildings, both in the UK and overseas.
He invariably succeeded in producing, even in the most deprived areas, dignified places of worship that became the focal point of the Catholic community, and which were very often the only place of beauty in the locality to which people of all classes had access, and in which they could take justifiable pride, and with which – as opposed to simply in which – they could worship in a correspondingly dignified way.
St Stephen’s is the first of only four parish churches in Scotland designed by him.
Dr Gerard Hyland, president of the national Pugin Society, will deliver a lecture on Friday 5th October at 3pm in St Stephen’s Church on ‘The work of the Pugins in Scotland, and Blairgowrie in particular.’
All members of the public are invited to attend this free event, which will be of particular interest to students and professionals of architecture, heritage and the built environment, as well as members of civic and other societies. A short video of the restoration works will also be shown.
Over light refreshments, there will an opportunity to view a display of renowned Celtic Artwork by parishioner Larry Scrimgeour.
Co-ordinator Marion Duffy commented ‘previously, parishioners were largely unaware of the historical significance of their Gothic inspired church building. The restoration programme has stimulated interest in both its design and its place in architectural history. We welcome all those interested to join us for this event.’