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St Ninian's in Winter
St. Ninian's Church on a bright winter's day

View over the Tay towards Fife

By Claire-Marie Guirron
An Artist's Impression
of Saint Ninian's

St. Ninian's Church

The city of Dundee is situated at the mouth of the River Tay in the north East of Scotland, and Saint Ninian's Church is located in the Menzieshill district of the city. It is the highest part of the city geographically, and the most Westerly. From almost every vantage point in Menzieshill one can look out over the whole town - to the East as far as the Tay estuary, to the North towards the Sidlaw Hills and to the West as far as the hills of Perthshire. Our most beautiful views, however, are to the South, where looking out across the river Tay we see the hills and fields of Fife, almost as far as the ancient town of St. Andrews. Our Church is situated in a truly beautiful spot.

The beauty of the country in this part of Scotland provides a perfect setting for prayer and contemplation of the wonder of God's Creation. This was no doubt why in the thirteenth century Queen Ermengarde invited the monks of Melrose Abbey to establish a foundation at Balmerino, and building of Balmerino Abbey began in 1229. Its sadly depleted ruins lie almost opposite the site of our Church, on the Fife side of the river.

Saint Ninian's was established in September 1969, and the parish recently had the joy of celebrating 40 years of work and witness and worship in this part of the city. (See Special Events) Before the building of the church the Menzieshill area of Dundee was not very densely populated and the few Catholics who lived here used to meet in one another’s houses, or in local halls and civic buildings for Mass. Since the opening of the Church the area has seen the building of many houses, shops, and amenities; there are now three primary schools, one High School, a Presbyterian Church and a Salvation Army Hall, and a large Community Centre and Library. We also have one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country, Ninewells Hospital, which until very recently was served by the priests of St. Ninian’s parish who visited the sick (not only the Catholics), celebrated Sunday Mass in the hospital chapel, and often provided Requiem Masses for many who sadly died in hospital and whose families had lost touch with their own parishes. [The demands of the parish were so great that we always had two priests in Saint Ninian’s until recent years. Now the hospital has a full time chaplain, and we have our own Parish Priest.]

The parish belongs to the diocese of DUNKELD. The Perthshire town of Dunkeld has a very ancient history, being at one time the place where Malcolm, the first king of Scotland was crowned and buried. The Cathedral is deeply connected to the history of the Catholic Faith in Scotland. The cathedral and grounds are still visited today by hundreds of people, and it is still a place of peace and prayer.

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