AN A-listed church in Greenock has undergone a £150,000 makeover to help bring it back to its former glory.

St Laurence's in the east end, which opened its doors in 1954 was designed by famous architect Jack Coia.

Greenock Telegraph:

But its ultra modern construction has brought maintenance problems over the years.

Father Eoin Patten, who has served at the church for three years, says it has been a battle to keep the building wind and watertight.

Major roof repairs and painstaking plasterwork have had to be completed.

Greenock Telegraph:

Fr Patten told the Telegraph: "It has been a big project and has been ongoing for almost a year, since last September.

"The church has three flat roofs and were all leaking and once these problems were addressed, plasterwork was required.

"There was water ingress at the side of the building into the side chapel and behind the main altar.

"It is a grade-A listed building and lime mortar was used when the church was built, so lime mortar has to be used in the refurbishment.

"It needed three coats.

"It was a lengthy process and there are only two people in the whole of Scotland who could do it."

Greenock Telegraph:

There has been a stunning transformation to the side chapel - the Holy Souls Chapel -  where water had been running down the wall and causing damage.

Following the works the chapel has been painted and skylights previously blocked off were opened. 

The church's iconic steel lights have been rewired to create an aura of light.

Greenock Telegraph:

Father Patten said: "It has been a massive undertaking. The wall was soaking and was stripped back to the brick before being being re-plastered.

"The skylights were sealed off for about 15 years, now the chapel is full of natural light.

"Parishioners are really happy, it was originally painted a dark colour, but is now certainly brighter.

"It is back to the way it would have been when it was built."

The other side chapel's skylight has also been renewed with lighting reconnected.

Greenock Telegraph:

The same plasterwork was carried out behind the main altar and a membrane installed over the brick-glass cradles at the altar to stop further flooding.

Father Patten says that none of the work would have been possible without the generosity of his congregation.

He said: "There has always been a building fund that has been ongoing during the time of my predecessors, the late Father Andrew Coleman and before him Father Gerry McNellis.

"None of this would have been possible without the exceptional generosity of parishioners.

"I have been overwhelmed by the response, in particular with the cost of living crisis and pandemic."

Greenock Telegraph:

The interior of the church was designed to depict the upturned bow of a ship and bow-shaped cloisters run down the end aisles.

Greenock Telegraph:

Father Patten says it is hugely important to preserve the church for future generations.

He said: "It is an A-listed building, a landmark and must be maintained not only for the people of Greenock but for Inverclyde and the country."

But as well as a marvel of architecture, he said the church is very much about its people.

He said: "It is a living building and a living parish."

There are still cosmetic improvements to be made and any donations to the church's building fund will be gratefully received.