Friday, 16 May 2014

Booklet on Whitechurch Moravian
Burial Ground Launched

Pictured at the launch of the new booklet on the Moravian Burial Ground at Whitechurch are Canon Horace McKinley, Professor Patricia Lysaght, Dr Rosemary Power (author), the Revd Sarah Groves and Canon Patrick Comerford.

This photograph and report were published on the Dublin and Glendalough Diocesan website yesterday [15 May 2014]:

A new booklet on the history of the Moravian Burial Ground at Whitechurch, County Dublin, was officially launched last night (May 14) in Whitechurch Old Schools. Written by Rosemary Power, The Moravian Burial Ground at Whitechurch, County Dublin, looks at the burial ground where over 700 people of the Moravian tradition have been buried from 1764 to the present day. It also provides a brief guide to the Moravians and a history of some of the few people buried there.

Speaking at the launch folklorist Professor Patricia Lysaght said she had known nothing about the Moravian tradition until Dr Power brought her to the cemetery. She said she has always had a fascination with cemeteries and her visit to the Whitechurch burial ground had sparked an interest in the folklore of the tradition.

Canon Patrick Comerford paid tribute to Dr Power’s work as a historian and folklorist, but also as a pioneering ecumenist. “She is a living reminder that the Moravians in this area are not dead and are not to be relegated to recording their graves and burial grounds.” He added that Moravians were never ones for merely expanding their own ecclesiastical empire but put themselves at the service of the wider Church.

Both Canon Comerford and the Revd Sarah Groves, Minister of Gracehill Moravian Church, County Antrim, are part of the talks taking place between the Moravian Church and the Church of Ireland. He said that the Moravians might be a tiny church in Ireland but they had enriched the life of the Church of Ireland.

Dr Power thanked everyone who was involved in the publication of the booklet and added that great information was to be found in Dublin City Archives. She said that the proceeds from the sale of the booklet would go back into the work of the Moravian Church.

The Revd Sarah Groves paid tribute to the Rector of Whitechurch, Canon Horace McKinley, who had been the “unofficial custodian” of the Moravian Burial Ground for many years. She said the initiative began in 2012 when the neighbouring Grange Golf Club contacted them to look at the walls of the graveyard. When she visited the special piece of ground she wondered how they could get the stories of the people buried there told and also highlight the work of the Moravians.

“Rosemary’s booklet tells the story of the people, who they were, why they were here and the faith that brought them here,” she said. “Today is not the end. It’s the end of the beginning so that the stories of these people will continue to be told.”

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