St Francis is a Roman Catholic parish in the diocese of Aberdeen. The present church was built as result of the burgeoning North Sea oil and gas industry bringing more and more people to our city in the 1970's, leading to the expansion westwards of the city of Aberdeen. What is now the church hall was built first (parish founded in 1958), then in the early 1980's the church itself was built, in a mediterranean architectural style (parish enlarged in 1982). The foundation stone was blessed by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Scotland in 1982.
Beginnings - a Parishioner remembers this fascinating story...
'Whilst the present permanent church may well have been encouraged by the oil boom which was under way by the 1970s and 1980s, when I arrived in the parish in 1963 the building was at least four or five years old.
I remember Canon Malaney telling me how he had the job of finding a site for the parish to build its first church, and a site was earmarked on St Johns Terrace where there was a vacant site just past the bottom of Springfield Road, but he was not happy with that because of the lack of parking space. One evening he was taking a walk down Deeside Drive, where some houses were being built at the time, and gazing at the large empty spaces to the west, when a stranger came up and started to chat about the houses to be built there, and asked if Fr M was interested in getting a house. Fr M said he was really wondering if there was a space fit to build a church. They talked about it for a little and both agreed that the space on the side of the Drive would be about right. Fr M was then surprised to hear the stranger say “Well if that is what you need, you shall have it.” It turned out that he was Mr Bisset the builder and he owned most of the vacant land in the area, which he was about to sell to Betts. Apparently he transferred the site to the church in a good deal, which included the St John's Terrace site being handed over to his firm, but the whole thing was very favourable to the Church. Father Malaney was very matter of fact about it but everyone else thought it was a small miracle! The St Johns Terrace site is now occupied by a large detached house.'
The Parish Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council consists of a representative group of parishioners, who come together once a quarter to advise and make suggestions to the parish priest regarding matters affecting the Parish. If you have suggestions regarding parish matters you should contact the parish clergy or any member of the Parish Pastoral Council. A list of members is on display in the porch at the back of the church.
The most important source of income to the parish is the regular contributions made by parishioners. Some people put their contribution into the basket at Mass on a Sunday while others choose to contribute through their bank by standing order. People contribute weekly, monthly and in some cases annually. A significant secondary source of income is from the Inland Revenue. Those members of the parish who are UK tax payers can increase the value of their contribution, at no additional cost to themselves by a simple but very effective method called 'Gift aid'.
The Diocese of Aberdeen, geographically the largest Diocese in Europe, extends from the Esk River in the South (just North of Montrose) to the Orkney and Shetland Islands in the north. It consists of many parishes, some of which have a parish church as well as one or more Mass centres served by the parish priest. Many of these congregations are small and scattered and do not generate enough income to survive. Therefore it is important to be aware that your weekly donation not only supports St. Francis parish but also these smaller parishes as well as diocesan administration costs.
Charity collections are regularly made for local and national charities throughout the year. This is done through a second collection at mass or a one off special fundraising event. There is always a box on the table at the back of the church for donations to The St. Vincent De Paul Society, which helps local people, who are homeless or struggling.
Holy Communion is taken to the housebound, either by the clergy of the parish or by an Extra-ordinary Eucharist Minister. Please ensure that the parish priest is informed if you wish us to visit a sick person or if you or someone you know is going into hospital.