St. Columba’s Cathedral

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Wed, 2010-01-06

St. Columba’s Cathedral in Oban is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Argyll and the Isles and mother church of the Diocese (the first Bishop of the Diocese) of Argyll and the Isles.

Built between 1932 and 1958, St Columbas Cathedral is the principal Church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Argyll and the Isles.

The cathedral is located on the sea front at the northern end of Oban, looking west across the Firth of Lorne to Iona and beyond, across the Atlantic to North America and Canada.

St. Columba’s Cathedral replaced a ‘temporary’ structure, which was built in 1886 and known as the Tin Cathedral because it was clad in corrugated iron. This building has been lavishly furnished at the expense of John Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquis of Bute (1847 – 1900). Made out of corrugated iron, it was supposed to last for only a short while. In fact, it stood for over 50 years.

The Cathedral is in the neo-Gothic style and pink and blue granite are the materials used throughout making the Cathedral a tangible symbol of the sturdiness of the tradition of the faith of the people of the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Its austere beauty echoes the ancient faith of the Catholic tradition of the Celtic people of Scotland. Throughout the year people at home and abroad request that the Cathedral be floodlit to mark important moments of life and death.

The tower soars above the Esplanade. High timber reredos with intricate Gothic fretwork, designed by Scott and carved by Donald Gilbert. In the Middle Ages the cathedral of the Isles was north of Oban on the island of Lismore. Dedicated to St Moluag, Lismore Cathedral is now a Church of Scotland parish church.

Cathedral Church of St John the Divine

St John’s Cathedral, Oban, the Mother Church of the historic United Diocese of Argyll & The Isles, within the Scottish Episcopal Church. Although, only partly built, the Cathedral has a dignity and a presence that is quite remarkable. The combination of Gothic masonry and bolted girders seems to produce an interior of genuine contemporary spirituality. Located at the george Street, Oban. St John’s, in George Street (the main street) is on the corner of William Street.

The Cathedral is built of granite – blue granite quarried at Kentallen (approximately 25 miles north of here) and pink granite from Aberdeenshire. The timber throughout is English oak with Adze finish. CHAPEL is of Horton Stone, topped with one long slab of finest Italian marble. On the wall near the Lady altar can be seen a bust of the Madonna and Child, thought to be an early Renaissance work from Italy. This is where the consecrated hosts are reserved and is a reminder to us of Christ’s permanent presence amongst us and his love for us all.

Fig: St. Columba’s Cathedral, Bishop’s House, Esplanade, Oban on the Scottish West Coast,

Argyll, Scotland


St Columba’s Cathedral Diocesan Office, Bishop’s House

Phone: 01631 567436

Fax: 01631 564930
E-mail: edi…

Further reading list:

‹ Oban War and Peace Museum up Caithness and Sutherland › Similar of ‘St. Columba’s Cathedral’

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