Protestants and Catholics sharing church in Co Monaghan

St Mary’s in Castleblayney moving in with St Maeldoid’s from today

St Maeldoid’s: on Sundays the Church of Ireland service will be followed by Catholic Mass

St Maeldoid’s: on Sundays the Church of Ireland service will be followed by Catholic Mass

 

Catholics and Protestants are to share a church in Co Monaghan for the next year.

When it emerged that St Mary’s Catholic Church in Castleblayney needed to close for essential renovations, its neighbours in St Maeldoid’s Church of Ireland parish, in Muckno, offered the use of their building.

It means that from today St Maeldoid’s Church will be used for both Church of Ireland and Catholic services. On Sundays the 10am Protestant service will be followed by Mass at 11.45am. There will also be daily Mass from Monday to Thursday and at other times.

The gesture by St Maeldoid’s select vestry and its rector, the Rev Neal Phair, was approved by the Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher, John McDowell, and accepted by St Mary’s, its priest Fr Pat McHugh and his parishioners.

“I am absolutely delighted that we can be of assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ at St Mary’s,” Mr Phair said. “We celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity together, and it is wonderful that we can further the unity we share by worshipping under the same roof for the coming year.”

Fr McHugh called the generosity of St Maeldoid’s “yet another example of the exceptional goodwill and wholesome spirit of Christian solidarity which we experience with our local Church of Ireland community.”