Castle Archdale Parish Celebrates the centenary of St Patrick’s Church

Castle Archdale Parish celebrates the centenary of St Patrick’s Church

Sunday 9th March was a special day for the parishioners of Castle Archdale. Plans and preparations had been made for a special centenary service celebrating St. Patrick’s Church’s 100th birthday. Every contingency had been taken care of except the weather. The morning brought storm force winds and wintry showers but by early afternoon, as people began to arrive, the sun came out, the winds abated and the whole event was, after all, bathed with spring sunshine.

A new visitor’s book, which was the gift of Mrs Lorna Meissner, was signed by everyone present and the church was filled to capacity. The evening service was conducted by the Rector Rev. Glenn West with readings by Lynda Noble and Ian Barkley. The choir included many former members who are now choir members of neighbouring parishes, Derryvullan North and Killadeas. The organist was Mr William McBride and the soloist was Mr William Caulfield, another former choir member of Castle Archdale. The special collection was for the Organ Restoration Fund.

Gifts given to mark the occasion were a special parish register from the Select Vestry and a display case from Church Wardens, Bobby Beacom and Wendy Armstrong. The gifts were dedicated by the Bishop, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Jackson, who gave the address.

In his address, Bishop Jackson made reference not only to the 100 year history of this beautiful and intimate church of St. Patrick but also to Church of Ireland history which goes right back not just to the reformation but to the very beginning of Christianity in the land which was pioneered by St. Patrick and by his follower St. Macartan, patron saint of this diocese. He reminded us that among the ruins of that history lie the building blocks of tomorrow. In the words of the Psalmist, “Take the past into the future.”

The Sunday School children did a wonderful display of the church and its stained glass. Flowers in shades of white and gold included 100 tulips in the font.

After the service a delicious afternoon tea was served in the nearby Oaks Restaurant by owners Jim and Eileen Maguire. A special birthday cake was made and tastefully decorated by Sarah Jane Baird to reflect the Arts and Crafts style of the church. The cake was cut by the Bishop and Rachael Archdale Norman who had travelled specially from Cornwall with her mother Mary, widow of Denis Archdale, the last Archdale owner of the estate. Also present was Francis Harvey, grandson of James Harvey, whose firm had built the church 100 years previously. The chairman of Fermanagh District Council, Cllr Alex Baird, gave a brief history of the church and the parish.

Bishop Jackson presenting a Diocese Plaque to Mr Robbie Haire in recgonition of 57 years service on Castle Archdale Select Vestry

Several presentations were then made. The Bishop, on behalf of the diocese gave Mr Robbie Haire a special commemorative plaque in recognition of his 57 years service on the Select Vestry. Mrs Una Bourke, parish secretary, gave Mrs Mary Archdale a bouquet of flowers and to the Bishop, a slate wall hanging by Dara Hand depicting the ancient carvings on White Island (part of Castle Archdale Parish.)

Members of Castle Archdale Select Vestry along with Bishop Jackson and the Revd Glenn West



Date: 15 Mar 08