Sunday 17 December 2017

Protestants share their church with Catholics

Catholicism is still the most dominant religion. (Stock image)
Catholicism is still the most dominant religion. (Stock image)

Patsy McArdle

Church history is being made in a Border town from today when Protestants and Catholics are to pray under the same roof - for a year.

St Maeldoid's Church of Ireland at Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, is now being made available to several hundred Roman Catholics in the parish for the celebration of Sunday Mass, and other ceremonies, while their own St Mary's RC Church is shut for major renovations.

The Select Vestry committee of St Maeldoid's decided to offer the church to the Catholic congregation until June 2018, with the services for the separate congregations taking place at different times.

A spokesman for the parish council at St Mary's said: "This is a huge development in inter-denominational relations and it sets a headline for the country, especially for the North."

Local Church of Ireland rector Rev Neal Phair added: "It's wonderful that we can further the unity we share, by worshipping under the same roof for the coming year".

Irish Independent

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