Sunday 22 April 2018

Original Pugin chair bought for cathedral

The celebrant’s chair.
The celebrant’s chair.

The Pugin Society, named in honour of St Aidan's Cathedral architect Augustus Welby Pugin, exists to improve the furnishing of Enniscorthy's landmark 19th-century building. Its members recently handed over a 'celebrant's chair' acquired at auction in Castlecomer for several thousand euro.

'It was expensive,' said society chairman Aidan Ryan, who declined to confirm an exact figure. 'But it was well worth it – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.'

The latest acquisition, which replaces an ordinary dining chair, is a genuine Pugin piece. It was produced for the architect by his expert wood worker John Crace and was in the oratory or library of a castle in the West of Ireland before it came on to the market.

Chairman Aidan and his fellow members would like in future to find a painting suitable for the east transept of St Aidan's. This would be a match to the depiction of the crucifixion of Christ, donated by Pioneers, hanging in the west transept.

The weekend of the annual Enniscorthy Patron will be marked by a spectacular floral display in the cathedral. The 'Celebration of Homecoming and Remembrance' organised by the Pugin Society will present 54 different arrangements on display all around the church.

The show is being pulled together under the direction of Fergus Hemmingway. The display will be opened on the evening of Thursday, August 7, and be open to the general public until Sunday evening, August 10.

'It will not interfere with the normal celebration of Mass,' said society chairman Aidan Ryan. 'People will still be able to pray.'

Those visiting the cathedral especially for the floral display will be charged €10 and issued with a detailed catalogue of all the items exhibited in pews, in windows and around the altar.

They will also be able to admire a meticulous recreation of St Aidan's. Created by Noel Franklin from St John's Villas, it is constructed with around 75,000 matches.

Enniscorthy Guardian