Bridging the schisms of the centuries at St Mary's church

Two separate Christian churches are coming together in the spirit of ecumenism at St Mary's 'Church of the Sloes' in Killarney as the famous Church of Ireland place of worship dedicates part of its interior for the use of people of the Orthodox faith.

As more and more Orthodox members come to the county, it's a gesture never more important and it also marks something of a return to our earliest Christian roots in this county.

"The Select Vestry of St Mary's Killarney is pleased to announce that a new area in the side chapel has been dedicated for the use of our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Killarney," Rector of Killarney Simon Lumby - who recites the Orthodox 'Jesus Prayer' each Friday at 6pm there - said.

"There are thought to be a significant number of people living and working in Killarney who have grown up in the Orthodox tradition of the Christian Faith. So it seems fitting that the Orthodox community is made welcome in our churches by the provision of a dedicated space for their own distinctive prayers and liturgies. Recent research indicates that the early Irish Christian tradition owes far more to the Orthodox tradition of the Egyptian desert than it did to European practices," Rev Lumby said.

The new space is comprised of a 'Christ Pantocrator' icon as well as an icon of the Mary and Jesus.