|Perth paid tribute to the Rt. Rev. Mgr Charles Canon Hendry, parish priest at St Mary Magdalene’s, Perth, on the 60th Anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood. Born, baptised, confirmed and ordained in St Andrew’s Cathedral parish in Dundee, Mgr Hendry has served over 30 years in Perth where he was first appointed as a curate, in 1955.He returned to St John the Baptist parish in the Fair City in 1992 where he served until 2012 when he was appointed parish priest at St Mary Magdalene’s in Perth, the church he had watched being built as a young priest in 1958.
In recognition of his enormous service to the Church and to the wider community in Perth, Provost Elizabeth Grant hosted a Civic Reception in the city’s Salutation Hotel attended by representatives of Dunkeld Diocese, local councillors, parishioners, family and friends.
Provost Grant praised Mgr Hendry’s “lifetime of service to the community.”
“Monsignor Hendry is not only well known within his parish,” the Provost said, “ he is a very familiar face in the wards at Perth Royal Infirmary and in the city’s care homes where his daily ministry to those in greatest need is a great example to us all.”
|Bishop Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld, presided at the 60th Jubilee Mass in St Mary Magdalene’s Church. The church was filled to capactity with priests and parishioners from all corners of the diocese that he had served for so many years.“His service has outlasted three bishops already,” said Bishop Stephen, “and he has already served under seven popes.”
Fr Gerry Mulligan CSsR, from St Mary’s Monastery in Perth, spoke warmly about a priesthood “full of energy and sustained by prayer”.
On behalf of his parishioners, Miss Norma Giulianotti presented Mgr Hendry with a Papal Blessing to mark his 60th Jubilee.
St Mary Magdalene’s RC Church was built in 1958 and serves the south of Perth and extends to Aberdalgie, Abernethy, Arngask, Bridge of Earn, Dron, Dunbarny, Forgandenny, Forteviot, Glenfarg and Kintillo,
The church was designed by Peter Whiston of Edinburgh who also designed Scotland’s Cistercian monastery at Nunraw in East Lothian, the first new monastery in Scotland since the Reformation. It contains very interesting window by the Perthshire artist, William Wilson, and crucifix by Benno Schotz.William Wilson specialised in engraving then print making, but in 1937 refocused his attention to become the leading exponent of contemporary stained glass in the UK. Among Wilson’s other key works are a World War II memorial window at St Andrews University’s Chapel of St Salvator, unveiled by the Queen in 1950, and the Black Watch Memorial Window in Perth’s St John’s Kirk, unveiled by the late Queen Mother in 1955.
Today’s parish priest at St Mary Magdalene’s, Monsignor Charles Hendry, is now approaching the 60th anniversary of his ordination. Mgr Hendry was a 26-year-old assistant priest at St John the Baptist’s in Perth when the modernistic Craigie church was being built in 1958 and has served as priest in the Fair City for almost 40 years.
“I actually met William Wilson but it was very much on someone else’s coat tails – I met him with the architect, Peter Whiston,” he said. “It was quite an honour as I’d heard all about him and I knew he’d done the Black Watch window in the Kirk.”
“Many of the windows facing Craigie Place had been damaged by vandals, but after restoration by the Perth College lecturer, Allan Lewis, and his assistant George Fettes, they are glorious once more and shielded from harm. They look absolutely lovely, just like they did five decades ago, and on a sunny day the reflections on the wall are beautiful, really breath-taking. Our congregation members are very proud of them, of course, but I don’t think many realised that they were the work of an artist of such considerable merit.”
Stained Glass restorer, Allan Lewis, declares, “The 44 two feet square windows flanking two sides of the Craigie kirk, finished in 1959 only four years after his Black Watch window commission for St John’s Kirk, were equally divine. You can see that the glass is all handmade and every aspect is top-notch quality, so for me to have the opportunity to restore them to their former glory, well, I’m ecstatically chuffed, it was like working on a Picasso. On the strength of these windows alone this church should be a listed building.”