St Catherine’s Church, Fenagh Restoration Project

St Catherine’s Church of Ireland, Fenagh, County Leitrim has been nominated for a special award by the National Lottery in the Heritage category for the Connaught region. We are going to make our presentation to the committee on 8th October in Athlone, and will attend the awards ceremony in the Burlington Hotel and to be shown live on TV3 on 3rd November. Many thanks to the National Lottery, Beresford and AllChurches Trusts, our sponsors for the Dream Auction held in 2016, RCB, the committee and the community of Fenagh and surrounding area. Without all your assistance we would not have achieved as much as we have.


The Church was completed in 1790 but the first record is of a Daniel Nellye, vicar of Fenagh in 1615. The Church was featured on the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) website for the month of May (many thanks to Damian Murphy, Architectural Heritage Officer), when we had a re-dedication service in 2017. At the same time, a memorial plaque to General Primrose was also dedicated. We have also featured in the September/October 2017 issue of the History Ireland publication and our photo was used by the National Lottery on their country-wide poster.


So how did our small project achieve so much? We started out with building on the original project in 1988 which saw the local community and FAS save the Church. This had declined to the point that trees in the grounds were used for the roof. Because a lot of knowledge had been lost along the way, the hyper-course system used to heat the Church had become blocked and this led to the rotting of the wooden floor which collapsed during a wedding in the 1990’s.


The building was only occasionally visited until 2015, when I visited the Church to see the stained glass windows. The Churchwarden, John Moran approached Rev’d Linda Frost for permission to apply for a grant to replace the floor with the assistance of National Lottery funding. This was the only way we could achieve the repairs. Since then, we have obtained funding through the Structures at Risk and Built Heritage Infrastructure grants, Beresford and AllChurches Trusts to have all the stained glass windows repaired and restored, some of which had been vandalised. The entrance pillars, roof, gutters, and the Vestry ceiling have all been repaired, together with lime plastering internally. The wooden windows, some with their original 1880 glass have been repaired and painted. Finally this year we have painted the Church internally.


We would never have been able to undertake all of this work without the financial grants and assistance we received. However, we could never have achieved what we have without the wonderful support and hard work of our committee, but most of all, the community of Fenagh and surrounding area who have supported our fund-raising events. We are very grateful for the support of the local Catholic Church in helping us to put on fund-raising events and lending of church items. This includes the fund-raising event on 25th October 2018 featuring the Garda Band.


We would like to give recognition to the 500 odd other projects in the National Lottery category that did not make it. Every project is unique and special. Our project started off by trying to save a building from joining the other ancient ruins in the village of ring forts, dolmens and Abbey’s. It turned into being a project of bridge-building between denominations. We started with small footsteps but hope to have lasting footprints. We wanted to save a building declining to a space available for future generations. We started out being about saving a Church building, but we have ended up being about inclusion and building connections within the community.


Of course, like all Churches, we have our ‘stories’. There is the one about General James Primrose, (1819-92) husband of Elizabeth de la Poer Beresford, daughter of the Clergy based at Fenagh. Quite unknown to us, his great grand daughter Mrs Sue Tyser and another relative, Caroline Jones, decided that it was time to find out what the General’s papers, which had been left to Sue, actually contained. They contacted Dr Caroline Jackson, an Oxford Historian, who transcribed two of the General’s diaries and put his papers in order. She found that as a young man he had taken part in famine relief work near Fenagh; his career ended as Governor of Kandahar in Afghanistan during the Second Afghan War (1879-1880) One of the diaries has now been published. But the General’s final resting place was a mystery. The search for it took Caroline Jackson 5 whole years but in the end her email to Rev’d Linda Frost resulted in his remains being found. There was an unlisted tomb in the graveyard, and by the simple act of sprinkling flour into the faded engraving on the tomb, the lettering revealed the burial plot of General Primrose. Sue Tyser, Caroline Jackson and Caroline Jones visited for the unveiling of a plaque to General Primrose at the re-dedication service in 2017. The irony is, General Primrose originally from England, died in Dublin, was buried in his wife’s family graveyard. His wife from Fenagh, is buried in England.


But we had a big dream of bringing a church building back into use, to help other people have their dreams too. A girl had a dream of getting married in St Catherine’s Church. The last family wedding in the Church was 71 years ago nearly to the day when her aunt Aileen Booth married Edward Knott. The girls own mother got married in Ballinamore, as St Catherine’s Church was in disrepair. As the years went by, and the girls Grandma and special granddad were laid to rest in the graveyard, she thought her dream was not going to happen. Then, three years ago, repairs started on the Church and on August 16th, the dream came true. We helped that dream become a reality for the family.


And of course, there was the day that sadly, the funeral of Luke Sempler was to take place. With enthusiasm, the hyper-course heating system was lit ready for the event. Unfortunately, no account had been taken for the return of the crows who had built a nest in the chimney. The resulting thick smoke filling the Church meant that all the heat was lost with doors opened. I can still remember the organist arriving and leaving rapidly, coughing and spluttering! Rev’d Linda Frost says she will always remember arriving to find me praying at the back of the Church for the smoke to go! Luckily, by the time the funeral party arrived, the smoke had gone.


Fashion Show – Kinawley Mothers’ Union – 17th Oct

Kinawley Mothers’ Union Fashion Show
Clothing by Queen Bee , Fivemiletown
with welcome from Rev Alastair Donaldson
Tea/Coffee & refreshments served
8pm Wednesday, 17th October, 2018
Derrylin Hall

All God’s Gifts

On Sunday 9th September, the South Leitrim Group of Parishes gathered in St George’s Church of Ireland, Carrick on Shannon to give thanks for ‘All Gods Gift’s’.

This included all of our Parish and Diocesan readers. It was a special time of thanks for Peter Clampett and Ruth Waller who retired from being Diocesan Readers. As a large group of churches we are indebted to their faithful years of service among us.  Both Peter and Ruth regularly did 2 or 3 services most weeks, and Ruth played the organ as well. Peter was also celebrating 40 years in ministry across the country. Bishop Ferran Glenfield preached at the service and Rector, Rev Linda Frost conducted the service and thanked Peter and Ruth for their help and support during her time in the group. She pointed out the important part lay readers play in keeping all our churches open and services running each week.

Presentations were made by parishioners representing each of the churches: Mohill, Carrick on Shannon, Ballinamore, Drumreilly, Farnaught, Annaduff, Aughavas, Drumshanbo, Fenagh, Kiltubrid to Peter and Ruth at the end of the service, followed by refreshments in the Bush Hotel.

Ordination of David Moses

Last Sunday evening 9th September, Revd. David Moses was ordained as a Prebyter in the Church of Ireland by Rt. Revd. Ferran Glenfield, the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh in St Fethlimidh’s Cathedral, Kilmore.

Rev. David Moses has been appointed as Bishops Curate to the Drumgoon Group of Parishes (Cootehill, Ashfeld, Dernakesh and Killesherdoney). He is married to Catherine and they have three grown up children; Sarah, Rachel and Jonathan. In the past year David has been Deacon Intern in the parish group of Monaghan, Tydavnet and Kilmore, working with the rector, Canon Ian Berry. Before beginning his training for ordained ministry he was a sheep and pig farmer. He also served as a Diocesan Lay Reader in Armagh Diocese for 27 years.

During the service, readings were given by Sarah Cathers (Armagh Diocesan Reader), Muriel Treacy (Parish Reader from the Monaghan Group) and Audrey Reilly (Kilmore Diocesan Reader from the Drumgoon Group) representing the churches that have supported Rev. David on his journey to ordained ministry. Archbishop Masimango Katanda, Primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo was also in attendance.

Canon Ian Berry gave the Address at the service of Ordination. In his sermon he encouraged the congregation with a phrase which has struck him from Acts 27 vs 23 – the God to whom I belong and serve’. He spoke of how these wonderful and challenging words speak of the Christian’s closeness to God, they way in which God is at work in the lives of Christians and of the purpose that God has for his people.

A service of welcome will take place for Rev. David Moses on Friday 15th September at 7:30pm in Drumgoon (Cootehill) Church of Ireland.
We pray that the Lord blesses Revd. David and their families as he begins his new role in the Diocese.


Dean Nigel Crossey, Canon Ian Berry, Archbishop Masimango Katanda (Primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo), Revd. David Moses, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, The Ven. Craig McCauley

Revd. David with his wife Catherine and three children, together with Archbishop Masimanga Katanda and Bishop Ferran Glenfield.

Damian Shorten appointed as KEA Diocesan Youth and Children’s Co-ordinator

This Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh has appointed Damian Shorten as the new Diocesan Youth and Children’s Co-ordinator for Elphin and Ardagh. The aim of this role is to support individual Parish groups and other Diocesan organisations as they nurture and foster Christian faith development in children and young people in the Diocese.

Talking about Damian’s appointment Bishop Ferran writes, “ Since we learned that Marian Edwards was leaving her role as one of our children and youth coordinators to take up a new position in Ballina over the summer, we have been praying and searching for someone to fill her shoes. I am delighted that Damian Shorten is to take up the role. Damian will continue to be the part-time lay pastor for the Riverstown Group of parishes and combine it with covering the Ardagh part of the diocese, working with schools and training and encouraging Sunday school leaders and Youth Leaders. Damian is well qualified for the role and I believe he is an answer to our prayers .”

Damian says: ‘I am delighted to have been given this opportunity of wider ministry in the Dioceses of Elphin & Ardagh. I look forward to working with leaders in our parishes, both ordained and lay, along with teachers, to encourage and support them in their vital work with the children and young people they have contact with. In all this, it is my hope that more and more children and teenagers come to trust in and live for the true God revealed in Jesus Christ, whom to know is eternal life and whom to serve is perfect freedom. Please do pray for me, my wife Amy, and son Arthur as we adjust to this new venture, and for the Spirit’s enabling to do it to God’s glory.’

We thank God for the valuable role that Damian will play in supporting youth and children’s ministry in Kilmore and Elphin and Ardagh and we pray that God will bless this ministry and build His Kingdom throughout our diocese.

Manorhamilton Wedding Dress Festival

Rev. David Moses appointed to the Drumgoon Group of Parishes

Rev David Moses has been appointed Bishop’s Curate for the Drumgoon group of parishes – Cootehill, Ashfeld, Dernakesh and Killesherdoney.

David, from Omagh, Co Tyrone, has just completed his theological training at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in Dublin. He is married to Catherine and they have three children, Sarah (22), Rachel (20) and Jonathan (17).

David has been a Diocesan Lay Reader in Armagh Diocese for the past 27 years. Before commencing training for ordained ministry he was a sheep farmer, and also kept pigs until 2001.

For the past year David has been Deacon Intern in the parish group of Monaghan, Tydavnet and Kilmore, working with the rector, Canon Ian Berry. This has been a very positive and enjoyable experience for him as he got to know the members of the congregations and helped each Sunday in the services.

David was very pleased to be appointed Bishop’s Curate for the Drumgoon group. He would like to thank the members of the parishes whom he met when he and other prospective curates were given a tour of the churches a few weeks prior to his appointment. The people he met demonstrated a great commitment to their churches and David is very much looking forward to getting to know the congregations as he works among them over the forthcoming curacy.

David will be ordained as presbyter at a service in Kilmore Cathedral on Sunday 9th September at 4.00pm. Everyone is very welcome to attend.

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Taunagh Parish Church, Riverstown, Co. Sligo 200th Anniversary Celebrations 17th to 19th August 2018

Please join us for this very special weekend of events, including:

Festival of Flowers and Memorabilia
in Taunagh Parish Church and the Cooper Memorial Hall
Friday 17th August: 10 am to 8 pm
Saturday 18th August: 10 am to 5 pm
€5 entry €5 (tea/coffee, sandwich & traybake)
Country & Gospel Music Concert with James Kilbane
Saturday 18th August at 8 pm in Taunagh Parish Church
Tickets: €15
Bicentenary Service of Thanksgiving
Sunday 19th August at 4 pm in Taunagh Parish Church


For more information or to book tickets, contact

Hilda Shaw: 0719167527 0877462896
John Taylor: 0872575581