Workers find time capsule in church

St Joseph's Church milngavie, Peter Rossi-project manager of the church and Rev McGrory with the time capsule'photo emma mitchell'23/9/11
St Joseph's Church milngavie, Peter Rossi-project manager of the church and Rev McGrory with the time capsule'photo emma mitchell'23/9/11

AN exciting discovery has been made at St Joseph’s Church in Milngavie during recent refurbishment work.

Builders were astonished to find a 115-year-old time capsule in the church wall, lodged between two stones in a doorway.

The glass jar is still sealed but the church minister, Father John McGrorry, has spotted a rolled up newspaper in it dated March 2, 1896 and some coins.

He said: “It looks as though it was put there around the time that the church was built.

“The building was initially a United Free Church and later became Church of Scotland before it was purchased by the Roman Catholics in about 1980.

“We are going to open up the jar in the company of representatives from other churches in the area as they are also interested in the find.

“It’s a thrilling thing to stumble across, apparently it’s quite unusual to find time capsules when they are hidden in buildings.”

Renovation work at the church started in May this year and is due to be completed by the end of this week. It has been re-roofed, re-pointed, with all the stone that was in a bad condition being replaced, and rotten parts under the floor have been replaced.

The time capsule is being kept in a safe place at the moment and Father McGrorry looks forward to finding out what’s in it and reading the newspaper articles - one of the papers is a Free Church of Scotland monthly.

Paul Reaney, chartered building surveyor and partner at Brown and Wallace, who carried out the work, said: “The capsule was in a pocket which had been specially carved out of the masonry in the wall, adjacent to the main entrance.

“Our contractors were cutting out the original stone to replace it as the hinges for the door had corroded and cracked it.

“One of the men heard a clunk and realised he’d hit glass - and wondered what it was.

“When he found it was a time capsule he was very surprised and phoned me straight away to ask what to do with it.

“We could have put it back into the wall untouched but that’s not really the point of it - whoever put it there wanted it to be found eventually and opened.”