Added on 14/06/2013
The keys for a new See House for the Dioceses of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh were formally handed over to the Bishop and his wife by Mr Robert Neill, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Representative Church Body, at a short ceremony on Thursday 13 June 2013 (pictured above). The See House is the third to have been erected within the precincts of Kilmore Cathedral just outside Cavan.
Clergy and lay people from across the Dioceses attended the afternoon opening and the ‘open house’ which followed it, along with representatives from the RCB, the design and construction teams, and various invited guests. Bishop Ferran Glenfield began proceedings by welcoming all and with a short reading from Psalm 127 – ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain’ – and prayers of thankfulness and blessing, followed by expressions of thanks to everyone who had been involved in the planning, development and building process. He noted that the last time such a ceremony had taken place was in 1834 and that the fine new See House was ‘built to last for the next century and a half, adjacent to the ancient cathedral site in its sylvan setting’, representing a strong continuity of bishops living there.
On behalf of the Diocese, the Dean of Kilmore, the Very Revd Raymond Ferguson, and Archdeacons Craig McCauley and Ian Linton, paid particular thanks to Mr Trevor Stacey, Head of Property at the RCB, and Mrs Grace Dempsey and her husband Mr Nick Jones, who had project managed the build. Mrs Brigid Barrett, Diocesan Secretary of Elphin & Ardagh, also presented a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Jean Glenfield to welcome her to her new home.
The Design Team was led by Mr Trevor Foster of Foster Associates Architects of Navan, who was present, and the main Contractors, Midland Construction of Kells, Co. Meath, were represented by Mr Brendan Smith. M&E Engineering was carried out by I–Sec Engineers of Cavan; the Quantity Surveyors were Kerrigan Sheanon Newman of Cavan and the Structural Engineers were Alan Traynor Consulting of Belturbet.
The house includes a number of pleasing features, from the elegant use of Cavan stone dressings to the incorporation of a fine Victorian stained glass window from the old See House. The depiction of the Last Supper by Heaton, Butler and Bayne of London which had been given in memory of Cecilia, wife of Bishop Alfred George, is now situated in the private chapel at the new house, which is tastefully furnished with a communion table, lectern and chairs (by Hayes & Finch Ltd and Robert Timmons of Dublin) (see below). Some items of furniture from the previous See House have also been restored and now grace the entrance hall, landing and bishop’s office, including occasional and horse–hair arm–chairs and a grandfather clock.
While the design and many of the details may be historically inspired, the new building is well up–to–date, with a geothermal system achieving excellent air–tightness and energy efficiency ratings.
Above: The chapel showing the restored stained glass window
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