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Gazette >

Irish effort

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THE PARISH is tiny by English standards, only 18 households.

 

But it hasn’t stopped the 40 parishioners of St James’s, Rockcorry, in Clogher diocese, raising more than e220,000 to refurbish their church with a new roof, repointing of the stonework, a new chimney, and repairs to the boiler house, and repairing and painting of the church gate and railings. The interior has been done as well.

 

Much has been given in kind, including the lighting, an organ, pew cushions, hymn- and prayer-books, and the paint and painting of the entire church.

 

There have been grants, says Canon Desmond Kingston, a retired priest who has been helping out at the church during a two-year vacancy, but much of the money has come through fund-raising, in which the church’s Presbyterian and Roman Catholic neighbours have joined in.

 

The effort, enthusiasm and giving has been led by Samuel Wilkin, a builder in the congregation.

 

When the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd Michael Jackson, came to the re-opening of the church, he said he hoped that St James’s would prove an encouragement to others in the diocese.

 

But he still can’t offer them an incumbent. The Church of Ireland is painfully short of priests.

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