Weekend of hymns and stories in store in St. Macartin’s Cathedral


Frances Boyd Eva Baxter and Dean Kenneth Hall preparing for the exhibition.

An exhibition and an evening of stories and song to celebrate the life of one of the most iconic hymnwriters in Ireland, Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander, will be taking place in Clogher Diocese on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, 9th and 10th March.

The exhibition in St. Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen runs throughout Saturday from 11am to 4pm and on Sunday from 2pm to 8pm with an evening service at 7pm at which some of Mrs Alexander’s famous hymns will be sung and interspersed with stories of her life narrated by Mrs Eva Baxter.
During the service, the Cathedral Choir and a choir from the Girls’ Friendly Society in Clogher Diocese, will be adding to the praise.

The weekend events has been organised by Clogher Diocesan Board of Religious Education in co-operation with the Dean of Clogher, the Very Revd. Kenneth Hall, to mark 200 years since the birth of Mrs. Alexander.

The exhibition will be brought from St. Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry by Mr Ian Bartlett with some artefacts also on loan from St. Bestius’s Parish Church in the Parish of Termonamongan, Killeter, where Mrs Alexander and husband, Revd William Alexander began their married life.

Revd. Alexander subsequently became Bishop of Derry and following Mrs Alexander’s death, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland.

Mrs Alexander was born in Dublin but her family moved to the Strabane area due to her father’s work commitments.

A talented young woman, she had written her book, “Hymns for Little Children published in 1848.
Her many talents also involved many aspects of pastoral work in the parishes where her husband was appointed.

Among the best known hymns she wrote were; “Once in Royal David’s City,” “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” and “There is a Green Hill Far Away.”

In conjunction with the weekend exhibition and service, the Clogher Diocesan Board of Religious Education has organised the theme for the Archdeacon Ruddell Prize and Bishop’s Medal Competition for Sunday School children on the “Hymns of Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander.” The closing date for entries is Wednesday, 19th June and these should be left in the Diocesan Office.

Sitting in the pew in Termonamongan Church Killeter where the Alexanders spent part of their life.

Eva Baxter with Dean Kenneth Hall.