Added on 17/08/2013
Saturday 17 August 2013
Heritage Week Celebrations
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 a regular round of fund raising is required to ‘keep the roof on’ and, for example, today (Saturday) the Mallow Union of Parishes will hold a fete in the grounds of St James’ church, Mallow from 11am until 3pm.
Next week in Dublin, from Monday until Friday, there will be a round of activities in both Christ Church cathedral and St Patrick’s cathedral with guided tours, drop in activities, musical recitals and lectures. Among the lunchtime speakers in Christ Church will be Dr Nicola Gordon Bowe who will talk about the cathedral’s stained glass and icons on Tuesday while on Wednesday Sue Hemmens will discuss the history of music in Christ Church from medieval times to the present day. In St Patrick’s there will be a series of evening talks with John Beauchamp, the cathedral architect, talking about 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 on Wednesday Albert Fenton will discuss the cathedral memorials.
Tomorrow (Sunday) 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. Later in the week, on Friday, Canon Comeford will speak in St Doulagh’s church, Balgriffen 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. In addition there will be guided tours and audio visual displays.
As usual the Dublin city churches, St Ann, St Stephen, St Werburgh, St Michan and St
Audoen will be open to the public while all this month there are daily guided tours of Holy Trinity church, Killiney.
Of course a principal part of the church’s heritage is musical and the weekly round of summer recitals continues. On Monday and Friday the Rector of Portlaoise, the Revd Stanley Monkhouse, will give lunchtime organ recitals for Heritage Week in St Peter’s church while David O’Shea, Organist of Sandford, Milltown in Dublin will play on Wednesday. In the Summer Music at Sandford recital on Friday at lunchtime David O’Shea will play organ works by Bach, Parry and Vierne.
Tomorrow (Sunday) the annual Charles Wood Summer School begins in Armagh. Among the events in St Patrick’s cathedral will be the opening recital by Mattias Wager tomorrow (Sunday) evening and a Gala Concert on Friday led by the Charles Wood Singers, which will be recorded for BBC Radio 3.
Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’