29 June 2023

Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (32) 29 June 2023

The Talbot Hotel stands on the corner of Trinity Street, King Street Lower and Paul Quay in Wexford, perhaps on the site of the mediaeval Holy Trinity Church (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

We are in Ordinary Time in the Church Calendar, and Sunday was the Third Sunday after Trinity. Today (29 June 2023), the Church Calendar celebrates the Festival of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles.

Over these weeks after Trinity Sunday, I have been reflecting each morning in these ways:

1, Looking at relevant images or stained glass window in a church, chapel or cathedral I know;

2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

A street scene behind Trinity Street in Wexford, looking towards the Main Street, with Bride Street Church in the background (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

The (lost) Church of the Holy Trinity, Wexford:

The lost Norse-Irish and mediaeval Church of the Holy Trinity in Wexford once stood on Trinity Street, which runs from Paul Quay and the corner of King Street Lower to William Street by Maudlintown. It is part of the R730 regional road from Wexford Quay to Drinagh and the Rosslare Road roundabout.

Trinity Street was built in the 1800s and was named after the Church of the Holy Trinity, a Norse-Irish church that has long disappeared.

Norse Wexford contained the parishes of Saint Doologue’s, Saint Mary’s, and Saint Patrick’s, whilst just outside the town were the churches of the Holy Trinity, Saint Michael’s, Saint Brigid’s and Saint Peter’s. Similar church dedications are found in the other Norse towns, such as Dublin and Waterford. Following the 12th century arrival of the Anglo-Normans, more churches were built in Wexford: Saint Selskar’s, Saint Iberius’s, Saint John’s and the Franciscan friary.

Of these 11 church sites, the ruins of mediaeval churches or graveyards can be seen at Saint Patrick’s, Saint Mary’s, Saint John’s, Saint Michael’s of Feigh, and Selskar Abbey, while Saint Iberius’s Church and the present Franciscan Friary church are believed to stand on the sites of earlier buildings.

However, the precise location of either Holy Trinity Church or Saint Doologue’s Church is not known and there are no visible remains of Saint Peter’s Church or Saint Bridgid’s Church.

Although there are no remnants of Holy Trinity Church, it is said to have stood close to Wexford Castle and had a holy well nearby.

An account from 1644 describes a ceremony at the Church of the Holy Trinity, by then in ruins. A Mr Le Goiz, who visited Wexford that year, describes a ceremony held in the church ruins by the women of Wexford town: ‘They come there in solemn procession. The oldest march first and the others follow, then take three turns around the ruins, make a reverence to the remains, kneel and recommence this ceremony many times’.

Five years later, the ruins disappeared altogether after they were purloined to repair the damage done to Wexford Castle after Oliver Cromwell sacked the town in 1649. As a result, the exact site of the Church of the Holy Trinity remains unknown.

Trinity Street was built on land that was recovered during the 19th century land reclamation projects in Wexford. Maps and illustrations from the time show that a large dockyard at Trinity Street that was built by the Redmond family.

Trinity Street was also the location of the ‘South Station’ or Wexford South. The South Station was built in 1891, 17 years after the train station in Redmond Square was built in 1874. They were known to generations of people in Wexford as the North Station and the South Station, until the South Station closed in 1977.

Over the years, the site of the dockyard has been used by well-known businesses such as the Star Iron Works, Wexford Electronix and Clover Meats. Trinity Street has been home to a number of businesses, including Talbot Hotel, TK Max, ALDI and, in the past, C&D and Wexford Gas Works.

There are plans to convert Trinity Wharf into a high-quality business park with corporate office space. Work began on Phase 1 of the €110 million development on the 10-acre Trinity Wharf site earlier this year (March 2023).

The plans for Trinity Wharf include: A mix of modern office space with 200,000 sq ft commercial office space; hotel accommodation; restaurants and retail units; landmark cultural and events building with conference facilities; a 64-berth marina; a new boardwalk linking Trinity Wharf with Paul Quay and the Crescent; an urban greenway; high quality public realm; and residential apartments.

Trinity Street also leads into residential areas in Wexford such as the Seascape apartment building, Parnell Street, Emmet Place, Fisher’s Row and Seaview Avenue.

Wexford Quays seen from the site of the former South Station on Trinity Street (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Matthew 16: 13-19 (NRSVA):

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ 14 And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ 15 He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ 16 Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ 17 And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

The Kerlogue Memorial at the corner of Trinity Street and The Crescent (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayer:

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘Freeing people from the Traps of Human Trafficking.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (29 June 2023, Saint Peter and Saint Paul) invites us to pray:

Almighty Father, let us remember the examples of St Peter and St Paul, two of your most loyal disciples. May we seek to emulate the conviction of their faith through our deeds and words.


Almighty God,
whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul
glorified you in their death as in their life:
grant that your Church,
inspired by their teaching and example,
and made one by your Spirit,
may ever stand firm upon the one foundation,
Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion:

Almighty God,
who on the day of Pentecost
sent your Holy Spirit to the apostles
with the wind from heaven and in tongues of flame,
filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel:
by the power of the same Spirit
strengthen us to witness to your truth
and to draw everyone to the fire of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul depicted in an early 18th century icon in the Museum of Christian Art, Iraklion … today is the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

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

45 seconds by the Quays in Wexford at the site of the old South Station (Patrick Comerford)

1 comment:

pat said...

Hi Patrick, I enjoyed your article on the lost churches of Wexford. Trinity St runs from Willian St/ Fisher's Row junction. To King St Junction where Paul's Quay starts. TK Max is Paul's Quay. The south station was on Trinity St where the Maxol filling station is now.
Yor photo and video are both at the end of Paul's Quay and the beginning of Crescent Quay.