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Singer tells of the part St Patrick’s played in her life

The parish in Anderston was once one of Glasgow’s busiest. People who have had their confirmation ceremony at St Patrick’s include Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons and Alex Mosson, the former Glasgow Lord Provost.

Eddi Reader, the former Fairground Attraction singer, regularly attended the church. She warmed considerably to Father Gerry Nugent and has said that if she ever chose to get married, she wanted him deliver the blessing.

Now, she is in mourning – for her church, for the priest, for Angelika Kluk. In fact, she is even writing a song in memory of the dead woman.

On her website, the singer-songwriter reveals St Patrick’s was the parish of her grandmother, mother and herself until the age of six. On moving back to Scotland five years ago, she again became acquainted with the church and was even featured searching the church records in a TV documentary following the story of her family.

Writing online, Ms Reader speaks of her visits to the church – occasionally with her sons – under Fr Nugent, whom she regarded as a “remarkable and inspiring priest”.

She says: “I wouldn’t call myself devout but I started to rely on going there for a service or two. I introduced my mother to Father Gerry.

“He had turned the back of the chapel into a kind of sitting room where, on a Sunday after mass, hot food would be provided and the community could gather. There seemed to be deep concern for addicts of all kinds and meetings held to help the waifs and strays.

“As a stranger in town, it was comforting to find friendship and links to my own past still living there,” she recalls. “I even thought that if I were ever to marry I might choose to do it there and with Father Nugent doing the blessing.”

Upon hearing of the discovery of Ms Kluk’s body in the church, Ms Reader attempted to go there to mourn but found it closed and the gates locked. Instead, she chose a private place to “pray for that wee girl who lost her life in my chapel”. The song in memory of Ms Kluk “will heal me”.

Ms Reader believes “the only thing Gerry did was be an alcoholic and a libidinous bloke and try to guide a community in practical spirituality”.

Full story at The Herald.

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