St Charles’ Parish was formed in 1897 in the Charleston area of Paisley. This was a thriving district situated in the south side of Paisley which housed the Paisley Weavers in the early 1800s. In many ways it was a self-contained town within a town.
Charles Borromeo was an Italian lawyer who was summoned to Rome by his uncle Pope Pius IV at the age of 22 and was named Cardinal in charge of Church affairs. In 1563 he was ordained Archbishop of Milan. He died in 1584 and was canonised a saint in 1610. St Charles was the obvious name to be chosen by the Church authorities and was named after Saint Charles Borromeo.
The first St Charles’ Church was dedicated on 7th November, 1897 and was based originally in Union Street, Paisley. It moved to a new location in South Campbell Street in 1931 before returning to Union Street in 1986.
Father Patrick Burke was given the task by Bishop Stephen McGill to complete the building of St Charles’ third church. Although the Church building was totally new Father Burke arranged for some items from the old church to make the short journey to Union Street. The tabernacle was transferred along with the statues of Our Lady of Lourdes, St Joseph and St Anthony together with the candle holders and the sanctuary lamp. He also arranged for the Sacred Heart stained glass window from above the High Altar to be moved and this can be seen to the side of the Baptismal Font.
The Church has been constructed from marble originally used for the altar which was made for the historic Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in Bellahouston Park in 1982. The Lectern and the baptismal font have also been made from the same marble.
Bishop Stephen McGill officiated at a special Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the Solemn Opening of St Charles Church on 4th November, 1986.