Monday, July 08, 2024

Athlone Church of Ireland to host Clonmacnoise open air service this month

Ancient Clonmacnoise Ruins ...

The Church of Ireland's Athlone union of parishes will host its annual open air service in Clonmacnoise later this month.

The service will take place on Sunday, July 28, at 4pm, and will be held adjacent to Temple Connor Church, within the monastic complex of seven churches in Clonmacnoise (N37 V2N2).

This is an outdoor event with worshippers bringing picnic chairs or blankets and sitting on the hilly slope overlooking the majestic River Shannon. All are welcome to attend.

Clonmacnoise stands as a site steeped in rich Christian heritage, commanding a picturesque view overlooking the River Shannon.

Notably, Temple Connor Church stands out as the sole roofed church within the complex, serving the local Church of Ireland community since the 1700s.

In 1955, the Church of Ireland transferred most of the monastic grounds and lands to the State. However, Temple Connor Church and its modest cemetery were retained.

Presently, the church's maintenance is entirely funded by Athlone Union of Parishes, relying solely on the generosity of individuals for its preservation. The Office of Public Works (OPW) oversees the maintenance of the remainder of the site.

The gathering on July 28 is an evening prayer service featuring guest preacher, the Reverend Philip McKinley, who is a dynamic and youthful curate in the Dunboyne and Rathmolyon parishes, and also serves as the primary evangelist at the Kildare Centre of Mission situated in St Brigid's Cathedral in Kildare town.

Donations collected during the service will be directed towards the Kildare Centre of Mission and ongoing restoration works at Temple Connor Church.

The Athlone union of parishes us extending a warm invitation to all to attend the open air service. 

Afterwards, you are also invited to gather in the field (courtesy of Tom Moore OPW) for a picnic and a chat.