The Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, also known as the Baptist Cathedral of Europe, can be found at the West end of the High Street in Paisley. This majestic building has dominated the Paisley skyline for over 100 years with its beautiful crown steeple rising to 60 meters (200 ft)high. The church is also a grade A listed building.
In 1885 a competition was held to design the church and tribute to Thomas Coats. Construction started in 1885 and was finished by May 1894. The architect Hippolyte Jean Blanc (18 August 1844 – 17 March 1917) was a Scottish architect and was the winner of the competition. His designs are the result of the magnificent building we see today.
The church is built in a Gothic revival style, built in red sandstone, cruciform in shape with flying buttresses along the naves has a grand set of stairs leading to three doorways, occupied by oak doors. Inside can accommodate up to 1,000 people. Other amazing features include mosaics, stenciled decoration, gargoyles, carved marble and alabaster. Above is a vaulted ceiling decorated with paintings of angelic angels. The Thomas Coats building also houses one of the biggest organs in the UK with some 3,040 pipes, which was built by William Hill & Sons.
Thomas Coats (1809-1883) was a philanthropist and a devoted member of the Baptist Church. He was one of the founders of the world famous J.&P. Coats Company. Being committed to the well-being of his town, he gifted the town with a lot of beautiful buildings and was involved in the restoration of Paisley Abbey. The buildings he gifted included the Coats Observatory, library, museum and the Paisley Fountain Gardens. After his death in 1883, his close family funded the construction of a Baptist church in his memory.
Petition to Save the from Closure.
Today, the church is threatened with closure as a result of a diminishing congregation and the cost of upkeep, the building has to create a petition to save this beautiful building.