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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Raphoe Cathedral Restoration

The Dean of Raphoe, the Very Revd Arthur Barrett, has unveiled plans for a major renovation of St Eunan’s Cathedral in Raphoe which will cost an estimated €650,000. It is proposed that the renovations will begin just after Easter in 2020 and be completed by the end of October. An extensive programme of works is required and the cathedral will have to close for seven months, with services switching to the nearby Cathedral Hall.

Architect Karl Pedersen has described the works that will be carried out. All roof slates will be replaced, roof timbers will be renewed or treated, roof battens replaced, rainwater goods to the outside of the cathedral and to the tower will be renewed, a new vestry extension will be built, new lighting will be installed and defective stonework will be repaired. The cathedral’s interior will also be redecorated.

According to Samuel Lewis, St Eunan converted the church of the abbey into a cathedral and so Raphoe is a long established ecclesiastical site. Lewis, writing in 1837, described it as a ‘plain, ancient, cruciform structure’ with an 18th century tower, while Canon JB Leslie, in 1940, noted that it had been greatly improved and restored. Now it is time for another restoration. One of the ways people will be able to contribute to the restoration will be through a new ‘Buy–a–Slate’ Appeal.

The Archbishop of Armagh will preside at the Armagh Diocesan Synod today (Saturday) in the Alexander Synod Hall, and tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon he will be the preacher at the Royal Irish Regiment service in St Anne’s cathedral, Belfast.

In St Philip’s church, Milltown, at 7.30pm an Art Sale and Exhibition will continue today (Saturday), 3 November, 10am–6pm, and tomorrow (Sunday), 4 November, 12.30–4pm.

Tomorrow (Sunday) on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra, at 11.45 am, a service will be broadcast from Athy union of parishes, led by the rector, the Revd Olive Donohoe. In St Brigid’s cathedral, Kildare, at 3pm the Bishop of Meath & Kildare will preside at a Commemoration of the Armistice.

A Service of Choral Evensong will take place tomorrow (Sunday) at 3pm in St Macartin’s cathedral, Enniskillen to mark the 400th anniversary of the opening of the Free School of Fermanagh at Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea. The school moved 30 years later to a site near the Cathedral and became Enniskillen Royal School and, after another 100 years, moved to Portora Hill. The Portora Board helped found Enniskillen Royal School for Girls which later became the Collegiate Grammar School. The service will celebrate the royal tradition of education in Fermanagh and the potential for Enniskillen Royal Grammar School to carry forward this strand, enriched by the traditions of both Portora and the Collegiate. The Rt Revd David Chillingworth, former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and a former pupil of Portora Royal School, will be the preacher.

On Monday the Archbishop of Dublin will attend the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem & the Middle East, at the invitation of Archbishop Suheil, which continues until Wednesday.

The fifth candle–lit film series at Christ Church cathedral, Dublin will take place on four Mondays in November at 6.30 pm in the Music Room. As always, the screenings are free of charge and all are welcome. Doors open at 6.15pm and no booking is required. The series is entitled ‘The Heavens’; a selection of four thought–provoking films exploring astronomy and the universe, introduced by a selection of interesting speakers and begins next Monday with Galileo (1975) introduced by Prof Luke Drury, Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics.