A Bit of Parish History

The name Croy, in Gaelic, is Cruaidh meaning rocky or ‘barren’. The earliest signs of human settlement in the area date from the first millennium B.C. Archaeological excavations at the site of the Roman Fort on the Antonine Wall on Croy Hill uncovered traces of a late Iron Age or early Bronze Age palisade, which had doubtlessly protected a primitive community. The same excavations provided ample evidence of a considerably later community dating from around 140 A.D. that of the garrison of Roman auxiliary soldiers and their families. Previous investigation had already yielded up a pagan altar of Roman origin, the earliest evidence of any form of religious practice in Croy.

The area is said to have been evangelised by St. Machan 1500 years ago, according to tradition he was Scottish and educated in Ireland.

The Parish of Holy Cross was founded in 1902, it was established to serve a mining community born out of the Industrial Revolution. Archbishop John Maguire sent a “missionary rector”, Father Francis McCann, on the eve of All Saints Day in 1902. Croy parish originally covered the communities of Auchinstarry, Castlecary, Condorrat, Craiglinn, Croy, Cumbernauld, Drumglass, Dullatur, Smithstone, Twechar.

Over the years, Holy Cross Parish has been well served by a succession of priests who have helped create a Parish community of which the whole Archdiocese of Glasgow can be proud. Many who have never been to the village, know Croy for its beautiful Church Building & Grounds, its Silver Band, its Corpus Christi Procession and hopefully, its faithful Catholicism. Sixty years after the present Church Building was opened, it was Solemnly Dedicated. The Dedication was accomplished on 9th September 2018 by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia with Fr Joseph Sullivan (Parish Priest) assisting. The traditional “12 lights” symbolising the 12 Apostles) are in fact Miners Lamps. These “12” are therefore “gathered around” the Lord Jesus truly present in the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle Lamp itself is a larger Miner’s one, again, reminding the parish of its origins. The housing developments at Balloch, Blackwood, Craiglinn, Craigmarloch, Eastfield and Smithstone benefit from our past and will contribute to our future.

The estimated Catholic population of Croy parish is now over 3000.