St Joseph's RC Church
17 Rosetta Road, Peebles
SATURDAY VIGIL MASS: 6.00pm, St Joseph, Peebles
SUNDAY MASS: 9.30am, St Joseph, Peebles
Usually weekday masses are at 10.00am on a Tuesday and Thursday.
On 30th July 1850 a group of about 200 people from all around the area attended Mass above a carpenter’s shop in the High Street, Peebles for the first time since the Reformation. Prior to this date they had used the private chapel at Traquair House near Innerleithen. St Joseph’s Church building as we know it today was opened on 29th December 1858 by Bishop Gillies.
Opening of St.Joseph’s Church Peebles:
“The new Catholic Church will be opened on Wednesday 29th December. Bishop Gillis will officiate and Dr Marshall will preach on this occasion. Admission by tickets – 1/- each. Service will commence at 11 o’clock am. Tickets to be had at Mr Blackie’s office High Street Peebles. 18th Dec. 1858”. ( NB one shilling is equivalent to £32.77 today).
Traquair House was the hub of Roman Catholicism in the Borders after the Reformation and in due course priests based there were able to help establish parish communities and encourage the building of more churches in the Borders with the help from generous benefactors and the sacrifices of the parishioners at that time.
A Catholic School was established next to the church building in 1865 and served the parish and the whole of Peeblesshire until it moved in 1974 to the Halyrude building near the Cross Kirk. When the school opened in 1865 the parish priest ran the school himself because there were no funds to pay for a teacher at that time.
In 1882 A pipe organ was installed in the church by Fr Clapperton who was parish priest from 1850 until 1882. In 1912 the organ was removed and transferred to St Columba’s, Edinburgh by Fr McCartney despite protests from the parishioners who were informed that they had “nil to do with the business”.
The Santuary was remodelled in 1971 after vatican ll. The altar, made of Greek Cipollino marble, was moved forward to allow the priest to face the congregation while saying Mass.