Church re-opens this Sunday

AFTER almost two years of extensive refurbishing, The Church of Our Lady and St. Patrick in Ballymoney will officially re-open this Sunday with a special service commencing at 3 p.m.

The ceremony will be conducted by Most Rev. Noel Treanor, Bishop of the Diocese of Down and Connor, with invited guests from all the main Churches in the area as well as civic leaders.

Services at the church in Castle Street closed in July 2010 to enable re-roofing, re-pointing of walls as well as other important repair work. It is estimated that the cost of the project stretched to one and a half million pounds.

Parishioners are looking forward to celebrating worship in the updated surroundings with one member commenting: “It was a long journey, but it was worth it.”

Established in 1877, The Church of Our Lady and St. Patrick has a distinguished past with the noted playwright, George Shiels, buried in the graveyard.

A few years ago, one of the most respected members of the clergy in Ireland, the Very Rev. Canon Dominic McHugh, was honoured at a Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate the 65th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

The Mass was attended by senior members of the Church including Bishops, the Most Rev. Patrick Walsh, Most Rev. Noel Treanor, and the Ven. Archdeacon Kevin Donnelly.