Franciscans in Scotland

The Franciscans in Scotland

In order to fully appreciate the Franciscans unique position in the Gorbals area then it is worth learning more about the long and important role they have played not only in the local area but historically across the whole of Scotland.

A short history will be posted here very soon. It will be added to and will have occasional features on specific historical activities and events where the Franciscans played a role.

The Parish of Blessed John Duns Scotus is entrusted to the care of the Friars Minor or Franciscans - followers of St Francis of Assisi. The Franciscans arrived in Dover in September 1224, two years before the death of St Francis and at the time he was receiving the Sacred Stigmata. The first Friary in Glasgow was opened in 1476.


This Friary and Church was suppressed at the Reformation and it was 1866 before the Friars returned to Glasgow to the Gorbals. They have been very much part of the local scene, through thick and thin, ever since - the only establishment in the Gorbals with anything like that kind of pedigree.

We actively seek those attracted and called to this way of life by advertising and workshops and diligently endeavouring to get entry to the Universities of Scotland.

The Franciscans in the Gorbals today follow the Rule of the Friars minor. They live in Fraternity and are totally dependent on the charity of their benefactors. Theirs is what is known as a 'mendicant life' and is distinguished by 'itinerancy'.

The life of the Friar Minor is characterised by prayer and a diversity of services to those who live and work in the inner city of Glasgow.

Daily Mass, Confession, prayer, special devotions to Our Lady and to St Antony and the Secular Franciscan Order, are among the religious services they offer.

Secular Franciscan Order

The SFO offers the way of St Francis to the men and women of today. It remains as it has for 750 years, a proclamation of the Gospel way of life, a continuous conversion from the spirit of the world.

It is characterised by constancy in prayer - the recitation of a daily 'office'; frequent reception of the Sacraments and attendance at Mass; a freedom from enslavement to material and temporal things; an acceptance of the Cross in their lives; a firm commitment to a way of life and to the gatherings of the fraternity for prayer, spiritual formation, mutual encouragement and planning of activities.

More can be read about the Franciscans in Scotland and across the province of Great Britain at the website viewable by clicking the icon below.