Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

‘Unsustainable’ Carfin Grotto announces closure

It’s always sad to see something established by a dedicated few being lost, but it seems this is the fate of Carfin Grotto, a shrine described as being ‘built by hand and opened in 1922’.

Plans to close the Pilgrimage Centre at Carfin Grotto, in Motherwell, which is home to the national shire to Our Lady of Lourdes, were announced last week.

Every year it attracts thousands of visitors – but the Diocese of Motherwell announced it was no longer ‘economically viable’ to continue operating the site, including a gift shop and cafe.

A petition urging for a rethink has been signed by 5,000 worshippers.

But a spokesman for the Diocese of Motherwell said those campaigning to save the centre should have spent more cash there when they had the chance.

“Unfortunately, as its losses show no sign of improving, it continues to cost the Diocese a substantial amount of money.

“If all those commenting on this difficult situation had themselves spent regularly on the goods and services offered by the centre and encouraged others to do the same, its future may have been different.

“Ultimately, the diocese has a responsibility to all its parishes and it simply cannot justify the continued substantial subsidies.”

Carfin Grotto Pilgrimage Centre no longer ‘economically viable’ with closure to go ahead despite petition

The grotto is not near me, and I don’t do pilgrimages, but I did once pass the door when visiting a colleague’s home for work – I did intend to go back for a look, but good intentions often fail miserably.

I wish I had, as I only have photos taken my others to gain an impression of the site from.

I suspect (from those pics) that the place is a victim of its own success (and I have to add, bad management), since it can’t have lasted for some ninety years if it wasn’t viable for most of that time.

I suspect over-ambitious development and expansion over the years, and the creation of a place much larger than it ever needed to be, and costs arising, which are the real reason it is now being declared ” no longer ‘economically viable'”.

Someone should be taking the lead and rescuing the grotto, or should have done so some years ago, when the subsidies being paid were signalling future problems.

All the superfluous extras and staff that it had become attached should have culled, and the grotto restored to its original purpose – a place of pilgrimage, not a glorified tourist attraction.

Closing this place will not make it disappear overnight, unless someone is already planning to send in the bulldozers and raze it.

Once closed, there may be an option for volunteers to move in and take over the important and relevant parts, even protest against any developer or similar that wants, or tries, to take over, and build flats or shops on the site.

It could become interesting.

This pic, taken back in 2013, shows what I think is the real problem (not a lack of generous visitors), and is referred to in the original caption it was given then “The Grotto site has fine expanses of gardens with beautifully maintained lawns”.

They had already forgotten the reason the place was there, and were squandering donations on vanity!

The sin of pride?

Carfin Grotto - Anne Burgess via Geograph

Carfin Lourdes Grotto
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Anne Burgessgeograph.org.uk/p/3626633

 

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19/08/2019 - Posted by | Civilian, Lost | ,

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