gct-logo-200x225Glasgow’s annual celebration in honour of its founding patron saint, St. Mungo, had its first church event with a short service arranged by Glasgow Churches Together (GCT) in what might seem an unusual setting, the ground floor of the Mitchell Library – its 8th year in this location. It possibly startles some of those present who are there to use the library facilities (including the banks of computers) or relax with a cup of tea, but it is a good way to get the message out to a wider audience about Glasgow’s Christian heritage.  Initial attention was caught by the beautiful harp playing of Carissa Swan.

The service centres around readings from the 12th century Vita Kentigerna written by Jocelyn of Furness and commissioned by another Jocelyn, Bishop Jocelyn of Glasgow. They were delivered this year by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow (in the original Latin) and Dr. Laurence Whitley of Glasgow Cathedral (in English).

The excerpts told the story of election of St.Mungo as bishop of what was described as the Cumbrian region, at the behest of the King, clergy and the rest of the Christian community. They described the setting up of his “cathedra” at Glesgu, which Jocelyn says means “dear family” rather than the more usual translation “dear green place”, and Mungo’s calling together of a community, his preaching to the people and baptising his new converts, and finally the submission by King Rhydderch of his temporal authority to the saint.

• Full story and pictures at St Mungo Music.