THE doors to an East End church have closed for the final time. 

St Clare's Church was read its last rites on Sunday after bosses in the Motherwell Diocese told parishioners it would not be able to afford repairs on the building. 

The place of worship has been effectively used as a wing to St John Bosco's Church, which opened in 2016 following a merger with St Benedict's. 

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Now, all parishioners will move permanently to the Westerhouse Road building. 

In a letter Bishop Joseph Toal sent to members earlier this week, he explained it had become increasingly difficult to maintain both St Clare's and St Benedict's.

Bishop Toal wrote: "When St Benedict’s and St Clare’s formed the one parish of St John Bosco’s, we kept both churches open, providing the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and other services and social events in both locations. 

"This has become increasingly difficult, particularly in regard to St Clare’s, where a number of significant repairs are necessary, most notably the replacement of the heating system in the church as it has been condemned as unsafe for further use. 

Glasgow Times: Bishop Joseph ToalBishop Joseph Toal

"The parish does not have the financial resources to carry out these repairs and I have reached the conclusion that the decision be made to close St Clare’s and concentrate on maintaining St Benedict’s, which benefitted from a full and costly renovation in more recent times. 

"Since the colder weather is approaching and St Clare’s will not be heated through the winter, the closure will take effect from this weekend. 

"I cannot see a benefit in delaying the closure, so from next Sunday October 5th the 10am Mass will be celebrated in St Benedict’s."

St Clare's, in Drumlanrig Avenue, was opened in 1965 and has welcomed thousands of worshippers through its doors in the last 55 years. 

Bishop Toal added: "I realise this is sad news for many people and I have been reluctant to take this step, but it has to be faced and our present difficulties with fewer people attending Mass and the subsequent loss of income made any possibility of carrying out the necessary repairs in St Clare’s untenable. 

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"I seek your understanding over this and I encourage those who have faithfully attended Mass in St Clare’s to continue to do so in St Benedict’s and to be given every opportunity to continue to offer their services there as in St Clare’s. 

"It has been the intention to foster a spirit of unity and friendship among all the parishioners and the new circumstance of worshipping in the one church will offer further opportunity for this to be realised." 

We would like to do a tribute to St Clare's: If you were a member and would like to share your memories, email