St Brigid's Church, Kilbirnie
|St Brigid's Church|
|Province||St Andrews and Edinburgh|
|Canon(s)||Rev. Alexander McGarry|
Father Thomas P Lee was a young Irish priest ordained at All Hallows Missionary College in Dublin, Ireland; originally from Limerick. He first was sent in 1859 to be the resident priest in Kilbirnie. He traveled by horse weekly from his base in Johnstone to Kilbirnie. Somehow he raised the money and found land to build his church and chose as the patron saint of the parish, St. Brigid (devotion to the poor). Opened in 1862, the modest structure was a Gothic styled rectangular building with a gallery, porch, vestry, confessional and a related presbytery.
At the time, Kilbirnie parish was in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, hence the connection with Johnstone.
It was decided that the increasing post war population called for the church to be renovated and enlarged. There was to be an extension to the rear of the existing church. In front a new porch and baptistery were added to the old structure. The renovated and expanded church was opened in 1957. Conveniently the schoolmaster's house next door was also purchased to replace the more distant presbytery on Parkhouse Drive. When the church was completed there was to be a new sanctuary and sacristy with accommodation for the altar boys.