In 1878 the Scottish Hierarchy was restored. Bishop Angus MacDonald, the first Bishop of the Diocese, organised the building of the first Cathedral in Oban. Made out of corrugated iron, it was supposed to last for only a short while. In fact, it stood for over 50 years.
In 1932 Bishop Donald Martin began the building of a new Cathedral for the Diocese of Argyll and the isles. He raised much of the money in America, Canada, and Ireland. The final act in building the present Cathedral was the blessing of the great bells ‘Brendan ‘ and ‘Kenneth’ in 1959 – 27 years after the first sod was cut and 21 years after the death of Bishop Martin.
Stained glass windows depicting the three Archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel that were commissioned by the Marquis of Bute for the original Cathedral at Oban. These can now be seen in St Patrick’s Church, Mallaig.
The architect chosen to design St Columba’s Cathedral was Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. He designed the Anglican Cathedral at Liverpool and the famous red telephone box.
The Cathedral is in the neo-Gothic style and pink and blue granite are the materials used throughout making the Cathedral a tangible symbol of the sturdiness of the tradition of the faith of the people of the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
St. Columba’s Cathedral stands on the edge of Oban Bay looking west across the Firth of Lorne to Iona and beyond, across the Atlantic to North America and Canada.
Thanks to all our benefactors we are able to welcome visitors drawn here from all over the world yet wanting to celebrate with us in the Eucharist our ‘one faith, one Lord, one baptism’, a unity we believe goes beyond those who share our faith, for there is no human being who ever has existed or whoever will, who is outside the Lord’s saving work. We hope you enjoy your stay.