Just before 12.30pm on Friday, 23 May 2014, a fire broke out at the Glasgow School of Art, destroying a portion of the famous Mackintosh building (including the Mackintosh Library) as well as a large number fourth year fine art students’ degree shows.
As I ran around the cordon in my clerical garb, I watched on as one of the most iconic buildings in Scotland was consumed by flame. The fire brigade did all they could and by Friday evening we knew that their actions had saved the vast majority of the building. But the students, the staff and members of the local community were left heartbroken at the devastation.
On the Saturday, Renfield St Stephen’s Parish Church hosted a time of meditation and reflection in order to make a space for those who were affected by the fire to reflect upon what the Mackintosh building and the Glasgow School of Art means to them.
Support has been pouring in from all over the country and we can be sure that the Mac will be restored very lovingly. But for us in Glasgow, I suspect we’ll always remember the 23rd of May.
(quote from Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 1902 lecture on ‘Seemliness’)