Added on 16/02/2016
Holy Trinity Parish in Dunfanaghy has launched a Restoration Appeal to pay for repairs to its historic 140–year–old church building in north west Donegal. The total cost of the work is estimated at €200,000, although the first phase – to re–point the church exterior – will cost around €80,000.
The church, which was designed by the celebrated architect Sir Charles Lanyon, has been subject to consistent repair work since it opened in 1874. The Rector, Rev David MacDonnell, says the building is in “broadly good structural condition”, although it is experiencing high levels of internal dampness. The problem will get worse unless it is tackled soon, Rev MacDonnell warns. “Our greatest fear is that dampness will affect the roof structure.”
The Church Restoration Appeal was launched at a service in Holy Trinity on Sunday morning. The preacher, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, urged parishioners to think about their legacy. He said Holy Trinity Church had a legacy of itself with the memories parishioners had in their hearts. “There are some joyful memories – baptisms, weddings, celebrations, anniversaries – but there are also some sad and poignant memories, really difficult ones that you thought you would never be able to cope with or endure, but it was here that you found God’s presence in all of those times.
“This building is part of your legacy. Some others have left it here for you and now the challenge is for you to leave it for others who come after you, and that may well be an important part of your legacy.”
Bishop Good asked the congregation to take seriously what God might be calling them to do during this Year of Opportunity, which has generosity as one of its themes. “There is right here, right now, an opportunity for our generosity. Maybe in generations to come it will be referred to as a significant moment in the Parish of Holy Trinity: 2016, when this project was embarked upon and significant things happened, spiritually as well as financially, that the whole community was part of it, and benefitted from it.”
The Select Vestry has commissioned a full conservation report and appointed conservation architect, Frank Keohane, to oversee the restoration project. The cost of the report and architect’s fees have been covered by the Heritage Council.
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Mr Paul McFadden