Volunteerism and the Church Renovation of 1986

Early in the year of 1985 the Parish Council agreed that major renovations of the church were essential.  The roof needed to be replaced, the nave extended, the galleries replaced and a solid floor installed.  A new stain-glass window behind the altar was to be put in place, the seating and altar replaced, the boundary walls lowered and a new car park constructed. Finances were raised within the community and the generosity of so many enabled work to commence in the summer of 1985 with the reroofing of the building.

Then in the autumn of 1985, the fun really began!  The then Parish Priest Fr McInerney went on holiday to Lourdes and what a surprise did he come home to!! Unbenownst to him volunteers had arrived en masse and started the renovation work.  For a ten-month period thereafter from October 1985 to June 1986, local tradesmen and volunteers worked relentlessly for five days a week every week.  Teams of people with different talents – builders, carpenters, plasterers, painters, designers and other volunteers..… gave freely of their time and expertise.  Ladies came every evening with tea and sandwiches, cakes, buns and most memorable for many the fantastic selection of home-made tarts!

Our church today is testimony to the power of volunteerism in the parish. The gifts of so many, rich and varied gifts, were pooled together to undertake and complete the task of updating and enlarging this beautiful church in a manner fitting for the “house of God”.  It is only fitting that we should remember that achievement and the spirit of volunteerism that was so vibrant at that time.