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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

New roof for St Patrick’s

The Dean of St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, Dr William Morton, recently hosted an information evening to highlight the restoration of the roof which is due to start shortly.   

This roof restoration will be the first major undertaking at the cathedral since the Guinness restoration in the 1860s. This restoration process will take around two years to complete and will cost €9 million. The Restoration of the High Roof will address four major issues. The first is nail sickness whereby nails used to fix the slates over the years have corroded and in many cases actually disappeared and as a result, slates slip down the slopes. More familiar will be water entry. During the hurricanes of 2015, two holes appeared in the roof large enough to fit a car through, allowing water to enter the cathedral. As well, there are split and over–sized lead–lined gutters which need to be re–laid to current falls and steps. And finally there have been temporary repairs are now starting to fail and a comprehensive repair is needed.

This undertaking has been carefully planned with the Cathedral Architect, John Beauchamp, travelling from his base in Somerset, on numerous occasions, to read his way through the cathedral’s archives which are houses in the RCB Library in Dublin. His researches have produced a history of the roof, revealing what was done and when.

Self–evidently, this project will require substantial funding and so St Patrick’s has launched a ‘Save Our Roof’ appeal which invites sponsors to sponsor a slate. There are bronze, silver and gold levels of support equating to contributions of €50, €250 and €1,000 respectively. Those who wish to become involved in the restoration project may visit www.stpatrickscathedral.ie/support–us

Tomorrow (Sunday) in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, the choir of St Clements’ Episcopal church, St Paul, Minnesota, will sing at the 11am Sung Eucharist and at the 3.30pm  Choral Evensong. They will also sing Evensong at 6pm next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, the 11.15am Choral Eucharist and the 3.15pm Evensong will be sung by the choir of St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny.

‘Summer Music in Sandford’ continues next Friday at 1.10pm in Sandford parish church, Ranelagh, where there will be an organ recital by David Grealy.

In a new musical initiative, St Fin Barre’s cathedral will host an organ recital each Friday in August at 1.10pm, which will bring to Cork some of Ireland’s leading organists. Next Friday, Simon Harden, DIT Music Conservatory Music, will play works by Franck, Escaich, Reger and Mendelssohn.

The Archbishop of Dublin began a visit on 28 July to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church, which is based in the Indian state of Kerala. During his visit the Archbishop will worship in a number of parishes and attend a number of presentations and talks. Accounts of his visit are being posted on the Dublin diocesan website (www.dublin.anglican.org).

Even during the summer months when parliamentary assemblies are on recess, the issue of Brexit remains a talking point in church circles. The Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell, has issued an open letter to the new British Prime Minister which was published online by the Daily Telegraph on 26 July and has now been posted on news section the Church of Ireland website (www.ireland.anglican.org). In it, the Bishop addresses the matter of the border which is a significant part of his ministry as the Diocese of Clogher is largely composed of Cos. Monaghan and Fermanagh.