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Church drawings digitized

The project to digitize, catalogue and make available online the Church of Ireland’s collections of architectural drawings of churches housed in the RCB Library has reached another significant landmark, with the completion of imaging ten albums of early 19th–century drawings of churches, amounting to some 1,500 drawings. All digital copies of these drawings which cover a total of 591 different church buildings have now been uploaded to the searchable database and are now freely available for viewing and searching. 
The six earliest albums contain drawings by the architect of the Board of First Fruits, James Pain (c.1779–1877), and record churches in the dioceses of Cashel and Emly, Cloyne, Cork and Ross, Killaloe and Kilfenora, Limerick and Ardfert, and Waterford and Lismore. The four later albums contain the drawings by Joseph Welland (1798–1860) who trained in the office of John Bowden, the first architect employed by the Board of First Fruits. When Bowden died in 1822, Welland inherited some of his practice and also became architect for the province of Tuam. Two of his albums cover the ecclesiastical province of Tuam and part of the province of Armagh and contain drawings of churches in the dioceses of Killala, Achonry, Ardagh, Elphin, Kilmore, Meath, Tuam, Clonfert and Kilmacduagh.

Collectively the albums provide a key source for understanding the Board of First Fruits church buildings in the period, 1780s to 1820s, many of which were subsequently repaired, rebuilt or extended from the later 1830s to the late 1860s. The RCB Library is most grateful to architectural historian Dr Michael O’Neill for his painstaking and enthusiastic work for over eight years to make sense of the Church of Ireland’s immensely rich architectural collections and ensure they can be appreciated by a worldwide audience.

Tomorrow (Sunday) morning the clergy and parishioners of Christ Church, Taney, in Dundrum, Dublin, will lead worship for the first Sunday of Lent on RTE 1 television and RTE Radio 1 Extra at 11am. The service may be viewed at a later time on the RTE player. The service will be An Order for Morning Prayer for Use on Sunday, being the newest addition to the Book of Common Prayer and included in the 2018 reprint.

Major maintenance projects are to be carried out at St Macartan’s cathedral, Clogher, and as part of the fundraising, parishioners and friends of the Cathedral are having an afternoon of continuous praise and worship tomorrow (Sunday) from 2.30pm to 6.30pm. This will be followed by a Service of Praise and Thanksgiving at 7pm when the preacher will be the Revd Stephen McElhinney, Director of Missions for SAMS Ireland. Also during the afternoon there will be a tour of the Cathedral graveyard by local historian Jack Johnston.

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin’s sixth candle–lit film series, on the theme of journeys, continues on Monday evening at 6.30pm in the cathedral’s Music Room when The Straight Story (1999) will be introduced by Professor Jim Lucey, Director of St Patrick’s Hospital. As always, the screenings are completely free of charge and all are most welcome. Doors will open at 6.15pm and no booking is required.

On Tuesday the Dublin and Glendalough Retired Clerical Fellowship will meet in the Glenageary parish centre at 2.30pm for a celebration of Holy Communion followed by a talk entitled ‘The Family Today’ by Canon Ginnie Kennerley.

The Wednesday lunchtime concert begins in St Mary’s cathedral, Limerick, at 1.15pm, will feature Jennifer O’Sullivan (flute) and Michael Young (piano) who will play music by Mel Bonies.

On Saturday 16th March, the Eve of St Patricks Day, an Irish Language Service of Holy Communion, will take place in St Mary’s church, Dunmanway, the burial place of Sam Maguire, at 8.00pm. A warm invitation is extended to all wishing to attend an Irish language service during Seachtain na Gaeilge.

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Church of Ireland Notes

Published weekly in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times