New Book on Lauchlan MacLean Watt

Former Glasgow Cathedral minister Rev. Dr. Lauchlan MacLean Watt (1867-1957) is a forgotten figure today, but he was considered one of the most powerful preachers of his generation and achieved fame as a poet, novelist, biographer, musician and champion of Scottish culture.

He was particularly well-known in the years after World War I for his entertaining and moving books about his experiences as an army chaplain. He described his role as ‘a roving missioner, with my bagpipes for companion’ and used to keep up men’s morale by playing familiar Scottish tunes – hence his nickname of ‘the Piping Padre’.

Prior to coming to the Cathedral in 1923, he served as minister at Turriff, Alloa and St. Stephen’s, Edinburgh. The climax of his career was his appointment as Moderator of the General Assembly, a role he performed in 1933. He then retired to his beloved Lochcarron where he was able to enjoy the peace and tranquillity for which he had often expressed a longing in his poetry.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of this undeservedly neglected figure (2017) and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I (2018), a new book has been written by Cathedral Elder Andrew Ralston and published by the Society of Friends of Glasgow Cathedral under the title: ‘Lauchlan MacLean Watt: Preacher, Poet and Piping Padre’ (retail price: £5.95). All proceeds from sales of the book go towards the work of the Society of Friends.

Join us after the morning service on Sunday 27 May at 12.45 pm for a short book launch event (held in the downstairs hall in the Museum of Religion opposite the Cathedral) at which copies of the book will be available for £5. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.

Glasgow Cathedral Guides


The Cathedral Guides were established in the 1980s from within the Society of Friends of Glasgow Cathedral, for the purpose of welcoming the increasing numbers of visitors from home and abroad and telling them about the Cathedral, its history, architecture and purpose. Even those who have been guides for many years are still learning new things about this fascinating place.

The Cathedral Guides, identifiable by their blue gowns, are volunteers of diverse backgrounds and experience who are united by an interest in the building, its religious origins and its role in the history not only of Glasgow, but of Scotland. They wish to share their enthusiasm not only with those visitors who may have little or no knowledge of Christian churches but also with those whose background may be more specialised.


As a guide you would be expected to answer questions about aspects of the Cathedral, to conduct groups around the building and to serve at the bookstall which sells Guidebooks and souvenirs.


All prospective guides are offered full training and access to information from the Cathedral Library, lectures and talks. Experienced guides will mentor new guides until they feel confident enough to ‘go solo’.


If you have time on your hands and are willing to spare one morning or afternoon a week in the summer months, from May until September, we would like to hear from you.

For information about applying to join the guides please use this contact form and include in your message: ‘For the attention of the Guides’ Convener’ or leave a telephone message with the Cathedral Office or Historic Scotland Custodians.


Kirk Session

This is the governing body of the Cathedral as in all churches belonging to the Church of Scotland, which follow the Presbyterian tradition. The Kirk Session is a group of individuals inducted as Elders of the Church.

The Thursday Club

The equivalent of the Womens’ Guild, this organisation allows for the women of the Congregation to meet and discuss various topics relevant to the Church. They also organise fund-raising events in the Church.

Flower Committee

The Flower Committee organises a rota of ladies who arrange flower displays for Sunday services, Weddings, Funerals and other services. Money can be donated for the purchase of flowers to commemorate a person’s life or any other special event.

Linen and Fabrics Committee

Members of the Linen and Fabrics Committee look after the Clergy’s Robes, Communion Linen and the various sets of Communion Table Covers, Bible Markers, Kneeler Covers and all other aspects of the internal fabric of the Cathedral.

The Drama Club

            The Drama Club meets on the fourth Sunday of each month.