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St Mary's and Celtic wide

 06  St Mary’s Church: The Birthplace of Celtic Football Club

By 1836, the total Catholic population of Glasgow reached over 46,000 - the majority lived in the east end, and a new church was required to serve the thriving community.


The construction of St Mary's Church commenced in 1839, and the church opened in 1842 in Abercromby Street, Calton.

Edinburgh's Hibernian Football Club represented the Irish Catholic community and won the Scottish Cup at the 2nd Hampden Park in February 1887, which led to great rejoicing in Glasgow.  


Hibernian's post-match celebrations were held in St Mary's Church Hall, and present was Brother Walfrid, a Marist Brother who was headmaster of Sacred Heart School in Bridgeton. 

St Marys and Celtic Building

The exterior of St Mary's Church.

St Mary's and Celtic Mosaic

The entrance foyer mosaic commemorating Celtic Football Clubs foundation.

He was inspired to create a plan for a football club in the east end of Glasgow, which would provide hungry children with one hot meal a day.  


Brother Walfrid approached prominent Glasgow Catholics to gain their support, and on Sunday, 6 November 1887, Celtic Football Club was formally constituted.


The church hall has since been demolished; however, the St Mary's Church stands proudly on Abercromby Street. 


St Mary's is a quietly impressive building and remains at the heart of the community and focal point of the formation of Celtic Football Club. 


Celtic is one of Glasgow footballing titans and a sporting institution with one of the biggest names in world football and a global fanbase.

St Mary's Church is a place of private prayer, worship and mass. Please be respectful of this building and the people around you whilst visiting. 

St Marys and Celtic Church interior

The rich interior of St Mary's.

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