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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

St Laurence Commemoration

Next Thursday, at 6pm, in Christ Church cathedral, there will be a service of Festal Evensong in honour of Dublin’s patron saint, St Laurence O’Toole. Long associated with Christ Church through the presence in the Chapel of St Laud of the reliquary of the heart of the saint, public interest in him was stimulated by the theft of the heart in 2012 and its subsequent recovery in 2018. A new exhibition area in the north transept is now the venue for the display of the heart. A chapel in the south transept is dedicated to St Laurence and he is commemorated in a stained glass window in the baptistry.

Laurence O’Toole, Abbot of Glendalough, became Archbishop of Dublin in 1162 and was archbishop until his death at the Augustinian monastery in Eu in Normandy in 1180. He is credited with introducing the Augustinians to Christ Church which had previously been a Benedictine foundation. He was buried at Eu but tradition has it that his heart was brought back to Dublin. Some years ago the Friends of Christ Church visited Eu and presented a Dublin flag to hang over his grave. He was canonized by Pope Honorius III in 1225.

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 10.15am BBC Radio Ulster’s Morning Service will come from Christ Church, Primacy. Community Pastor, Denise Wilson, will lead the Service of Holy Communion and the celebrant and preacher will be Canon Simon Doogan. In Dublin, at the 3.30pm Evensong in Christ Church cathedral, the Revd Lesley Robinson, Rector of Clontarf, will be installed as the 12th canon.

With restoration funds in short supply, a local community group led by Julia Keane has been working on an intriguing way to help to keep the roof on St Carthage’s cathedral, Lismore, Co Waterford, a site which has been a place of learning and worship since 635AD.

The idea is simple – anyone can buy one of the 900 or so postcard sized artworks donated to the project, but you don’t know who the artist is until after you’ve bought it. At €50 a card you could be buying a masterpiece. As a bonus, every €50 spent will be matched by the Tomar Trust up to the sum of €30,000. The sale is online on from today (Saturday) at www.versoart.ie, with viewing now available online and at the Lismore Castle Arts Gallery.

The cathedral has an exceptional artistic heritage of its own. Remarkable stained glass by pre–Raphaelite Edward Burne–Jones greets visitors at the West end. Important 10th–13th century stone carvings in the building include a recently restored stone figure, known locally as ‘the oldest cleric in Lismore’.  

The mosaics at the Church of the Ascension, Timoleague in Kilgariffe union of parishes have been awarded the National Heritage Award for Co. Cork in 2021. Built in 1811, the church building is of local and national importance. Minister Heather Humphreys TD has recently visited the building to see the mosaics which date back to 1894. The church is currently undergoing a five–phase conservation plan to prevent the mosaics from getting spoiled by water entering the building.

The Revd Kingsley Sutton, Rector of Kilgariffe Union, said: “Phase two of our conservation plan is soon to be completed, helping to protect the amazing mosaics of this hidden gem in West Cork. We are very grateful for all the financial help and support we’ve been getting, but we still need to raise at least another €250,000 to complete the project. Please consider helping, by donating at timoleaguemosaics.ie.”

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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