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Anglican church to be shared by both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic parishes

St Maeldoid’s Parish Church, Castleblayney.
St Maeldoid’s Parish Church, Castleblayney.

Two different Christian denominations will be sharing the same place of worship during the next year in an example of neighbourliness and friendship.

When it was learned that St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan would be closed for a year for essential renovations, their church neighbours, St Maeldoid’s Church of Ireland parish at Muckno, Castleblayney, in Clogher Diocese, offered the use of their beautiful gothic–style building.

This generous gesture by the Select Vestry of St Maeldoid’s along with their rector, the Revd Neal Phair, and approved by the Bishop of Clogher, Right Revd John McDowell, was accepted by the Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Father Pat McHugh and his parishioners and from next Monday, 19th June, St Maeldoid’s Church will be used for both Church of Ireland services and Masses.

On Sunday mornings, the normal Anglican service will be held at 10am before the church is again used later in the morning, this time for Sunday Mass at 11.45am. There will also be daily Mass from Monday to Thursday and at other times.

Mr Phair said he was pleased to help: “I am absolutely delighted that we can be of assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ at St Mary’s by offering St Maeldoid’s Church as a place of worship while the renovations to St Mary’s take place until June next year.

“We celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity together and it is wonderful that we can further the unity we share by worshipping under the same roof for the coming year.”

Father Pat McHugh of St Mary’s has spoken warmly of the spirit of friendship from his Church of Ireland neighbours.

The Parish Priest of Muckno, Fr Pat McHugh, said, “Our parish is blessed by the generosity of Bishop McDowell, Revd Neal, the members of the Select Vestry and the congregation at St Maeldoid’s Church. Their invitation to use St Maeldoid’s during the closure of St. Mary’s is yet another example of the exceptional goodwill and wholesome spirit of Christian solidarity which we experience with our local Church of Ireland community.”

The current schedule of Masses and other liturgies and devotions will be adjusted on a weekly or monthly basis during the times that St Maeldoid’s Church is available for the use of the St Mary’s parishioners.