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Roman Catholic Diocese of Argyll and the Isles

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Argyll and the Isles (Latin Diocesis Ergadiensis et Insularum) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, in the Province of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh.[1]

Diocese of Argyll and the Isles

Dioecesis Ergadiensis et Insularum

Sgìr-Easbuig Earraghàidheal 's nan Eilean  (Scottish Gaelic)
Country Scotland
TerritoryMost of Argyll and Bute, southern part of Highland, and Outer Hebrides, plus the Isle of Arran
Ecclesiastical provinceSt Andrews and Edinburgh
MetropolitanSt Andrews and Edinburgh
Area31,080 km2 (12,000 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
10,850 (14.1%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite
Established4 March 1878
CathedralSt. Columba's Cathedral, Oban
Secular priests29
Current leadership
BishopBrian McGee
Metropolitan ArchbishopLeo Cushley
Episcopal Vicars
  • James L. Canon MacNeil
  • Donald J. Canon MacKay
  • John P. Mackinnon



The diocese covers an area of 31,080 km² and has a Catholic population of 10,546 (14.1%) out of a total population of 74,546 (2006 figures). The see is in the town of Oban where the seat is located at St. Columba's Cathedral.[1]


The diocese was erected on 5 March 1878 following the restoration of the Scottish Catholic hierarchy. On 28 December 2015 Pope Francis appointed Father Brian McGee to succeed the Right Reverend Joseph Toal as eleventh Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.[1]


After its establishment in 1878, the seat of the diocese was in various buildings each overlapping the same site:[2]

  • 5 March 1878: The Scottish Catholic hierarchy is restored and the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles is erected. There was no cathedral, and the bishop resided in, what became, the Cathedral House. It was bought from the Society of Jesus who previously used it as a summer retreat house.
  • Early 1880s: A wooden building served as the pro-cathedral for the diocese. It was located on the site of the Cathedral Hall.
  • 1886: A church made of corrugated iron became the pro-cathedral. It was known as the 'Tin Cathedral' and was given to the diocese by the Marquess of Bute.
  • 1919: Bishop Donald Martin decided to build a permanent cathedral.
  • 14 September 1932: The foundation stone of St Columba's Cathedral was laid.
  • 29 October 1933: The 'Tin Cathedral' was demolished to allow space for the cathedral to be finished. Worship continued in the Cathedral Hall.[3]
  • 25 December 1934: The cathedral was opened.

Past and present ordinariesEdit

The following is a list of the Bishops of Argyll and the Isles:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Diocese of Argyll and The Isles". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  2. ^ History of St Columba’s Cathedral, Oban from retrieved 16 April 2014
  3. ^ Oban: The end of the Pro-Cathedral from The Tablet retrieved 16 April 2014

External linksEdit