HIGH winds caused severe damage to a Greenock church as Storm Gareth arrived in Inverclyde.

Father Danny McLoughlin, arrived at St Andrew’s Church in Larkfield yesterday morning to find that one of the large windows on the front of the building had been blown out completely.

The 10am mass went ahead in the small side chapel.

A temporary repair was being arranged before a more permanent solution can be put in place.

Fr. McLoughlin said: “I hadn’t anticipated how bad the weather would be.

"It is an enormous window that has shattered so will take time to fix but we are dealing with it.

“We would hope once the temporary repairs are completed we could continue as normal but we will need to wait and see.

“We are working to get it fixed as soon as possible.”

Forecasters had warned of strong gusts and possible structural damage as a result of the storm and the church was the most notable casualty.

There was also travel disruption, with ferries on the Clyde affected as the wind grew steadily stronger during the afternoon.

Gusts topped 60mph at their peak last night.

The official weather warning for Strathclyde, which was brought forward by several hours yesterday, remains in effect until 3pm, with conditions expected to ease.