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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Celebrating Heritage

National Heritage Week finishes tomorrow (Sunday). It is an initiative by the Heritage Council which brings together communities, families, organisations, cultural institutions, academics and enthusiasts, to build awareness about the value of heritage and support its conservation. The Council is based in Áras na hOidhreachta in Kilkenny, which for centuries, as the Palace, was the residence of the Bishops of Ossory. The last bishop to reside in the Palace was Dr John Neill who was Bishop of Cashel & Ossory from 1997 until his translation to Dublin in 2002.

Today (Saturday) at 12.15pm, on the centenary of the death of Mrs Annabella Hayes, Founder of the Mothers’ Union in Ireland, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, will rededicate the refurbished grave in her honour in St Fintan’s Cemetery in Sutton. The Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Mr Daniel Whooley, the President of All Ireland Mothers’ Union, Mrs June Butler, Canon Robert Deane, All Ireland Chaplain, and Mrs Karen Nelson,  Diocesan President of Dublin & Glendalough Mothers’ Union, will be in attendance. This refurbishment has been completed by All Ireland Mothers’ Union with grant aid from the Heritage Council.

Heritage Week 2021’s theme is ‘Open the Door to Heritage’.  A new video presentation, Disestablishment 150: A Virtual Tour, opens the door to some of the Church of Ireland’s most iconic built heritage in the city of Dublin. The video is available at https://youtu.be/IcLy3wmuY6k

Of course, heritage matters are not confined to one week and are not always public events. Much of the Church’s heritage work is functional with little or no public involvement. The recent re–roofing of St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, is a case in point. Whilst this was a spectacular exercise, and one which benefitted from invaluable state funding, it could not be open to the public although its benefits will be shared with heritage professionals. In a different way the ongoing redesign of the precincts of Christ Church cathedral, is creating a new space in which the cathedral and the city can interact. Under the terms of the Open Spaces Act, the precincts are maintained by Dublin City Council with which Christ Church has been working closely on the new design.

Another innovative collaboration between the Church and local government is the case of St Mary’s collegiate church, Youghal. This important medieval building is now maintained by the local authority while still being used as a place of worship for the small Church of Ireland community in east Cork. A new immersive visitor experience in the church, ‘Voices of St. Mary’s’, allows visitors to hear and see some of those fascinating moments from history.

In north Co. Dublin, community archaeology group, Resurrecting Monuments, working with the Friends of St Doulagh’s, have joined with Lensman Photography to produce a cutting–edge virtual tour of St Doulagh’s church, Balgriffen, which is the oldest stone–roofed church still in use in Ireland. The Matterport 3D Virtual Tour, which will provide online access to a self–guided tour of the church building and baptistry, has been supported by Fingal County Council.

The current series of lunchtime organ recitals concludes in St Fin Barre’s cathedral, Cork on Friday at 1.10pm. This week the recitalist will be Robbie Carroll who has been Assistant Director of Music at St Fin Barre’s for two years.

In St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, on Friday at 5.00 pm David Leigh, Organist and Assistant Master of the Music, will give an online recital of music by Marcel Dupré. Further details may be had at www.stpatrickscathedral.ie/live_at_five.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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