27 March 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
39, Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey

Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey, Co Wexford … Pugin’s only Romanesque church in Ireland (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent and Easter this year, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, a photograph of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

This week I am offering photographs from seven churches that were designed by Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852), the architect singularly responsible for shaping and influencing the Gothic revival in church architecture on these islands.

My photographs this morning (27 March 2021) are from Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey, Co Wexford.

This is Pugin’s only Romanesque-style church in Co Wexford. His designs were strongly influenced by Joseph Potter’s mixed Romanesque and Gothic style for Holy Cross Church, Lichfield, which I featured yesterday (26 March 2021), including Potter’s entrance door and his turret.

This is one of the earliest of Pugin’s churches, and dates from 1839. When the church was opened in 1843, it was claimed that Pugin’s design had been influenced by Dunbrody Abbey in south Co Wexford. But Saint Michael’s has many of the proportions of Pugin’s cathedral in Birmingham, being as wide and almost as long.

The West Door of Saint Michael’s Gorey … can be compared with Joseph Potter’s Romanesque door in Holy Cross Church, Lichfield (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

John 11: 45-57 (NRSVA):

45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’ 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! 50 You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.’ 51 He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. 53 So from that day on they planned to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.

55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, ‘What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?’ 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should let them know, so that they might arrest him.

The interior of Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey, Co Wexford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (26 March 2021), prays:

Let us give thanks for the Church of North India’s Let My People Go programme, fighting injustice on behalf of marginalised communities in India.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The turret of Saint Michael’s Church, Gorey (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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