Saturday, 17 August 2013

Two lectures on Church History
as part of Heritage Week 2013

Saint Lachtain’s Church , Freshford, Co Kilkenny ... a lecture and guided tour on Sunday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The ‘Church of Ireland notes’ on page 18 in The Irish Times today [17 August 2013] includes the following:

Heritage Week is now an established part of the national cultural calendar and it provides an opportunity to showcase that part of Ireland’s heritage for which the Church has inherited a responsibility, and to share it with the wider community. Much of the focus, inevitably, is on the cathedrals and older parish churches which following disestablishment were vested in the Representative Church Body.

The ownership of these buildings has been a privilege and a blessing but also a considerable responsibility for without a comprehensive system of state support for church buildings of historical and architectural merit, such as is the case in other European countries, their upkeep has been a constant strain on a small minority community.

Fortunately, the Church of Ireland has benefitted, from time to time from government grants and, most importantly has enjoyed the constant support of local communities. Nonetheless regular rounds of fund raising are necessary. For example, the Mallow Union of Parishes will hold a fete in the grounds of St James’ Church, Mallow today from 11am until 3pm.

From Monday to Friday of next week in Dublin, there will be a round of activities in both Christ Church cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral, including guided tours, drop-in activities, musical recitals and lectures.

Among the lunchtime speakers in Christ Church will be Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe who on Tuesday will talk about the cathedral’s stained glass and icons. On Wednesday Sue Hemmens will discuss the history of music in Christ Church from medieval times to the present day.

St Patrick’s will host a series of evening talks: John Beauchamp, the cathedral architect, on the restoration of the Lady Chapel on Monday; Dr Harman Murtagh on ‘Schomberg, the Battle of the Boyne and St Patrick’s Cathedral’ on Tuesday and Albert Fenton on cathedral memorials on Wednesday.

Tomorrow at 3pm Canon Patrick Comerford, Lecturer in Anglicanism, Liturgy and Church History in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, will speak in St Lachtain’s church, Freshford, Co. Kilkenny, on the history of the church and its unique Romanesque doorway and will give a guided tour. On Friday, Canon Comeford will speak in St Doulagh’s church, Balgriffin on ‘Celtic Spirituality, Our Heritage’.

St Doulagh’s will also host a lecture on Thursday evening at 8pm when Sr Una Agnew will explore the spiritual implications of the work of Patrick Kavanagh.

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