Who was St Conval?

Saint Conval was born circa 570 AD. The son of an Irish chieftain, Conval travelled to Strathclyde around 590 AD to become a follower of St Mungo and medieval sources suggest he became Archdeacon of Glasgow.

After working amongst the Scots and visiting St Columba, St Conval went on to undertake missionary work amongst the Picts. He is particularly associated with the area around Inchinnan in East Renfrewshire, and some sources indicate his relics were held there during the middle ages. Inchinnan was also the location of an early Christian stone cross, erected in St Conval’s memory. Only the base of the cross remains today.

Another interesting artefact connected to the saint is a large stone known as “St Conval’s Chariot” which can be found in an overgrown enclosure in Renfrew. There is a legend that, as a young man, St Conval was standing on the shore of the Irish Sea praying for God’s guidance on what to do with his life. The stone on which he was standing broke off and carried Conval across the Irish Sea and along the River Clyde as far as Inchinnan. St Conval is said to have come ashore at Inchinnan and a chapel was later built there in his honour.

Although we know very little about the life of St Conval, we can still learn from his example: to pray for God’s guidance in our life; to follow Christ, no matter where He leads us; to share the good news about Jesus with the people we encounter in our home city of Glasgow.

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