Rev. Linda Frost, Doreen Honeyman, Margaret Laurence and Julie Marshall.
Catherine’s Church of Ireland, Fenagh, are finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Award. This community heritage project will represent the north region at a glittering award ceremony on Saturday, November 3.
Hosted by Karen Koster, the event will be broadcast on Virgin Media One on Sunday 11th November, right after X-Factor.
Restoration of St. Catherine’s Church has been a labour of love for the volunteers of Fenagh.
Speaking this week, volunteer Julie Marshall explained “This beautiful little church was crumbling. The roof was in a state of disrepair and the wooden floor was rotten.
“The building was in need of a lot of care and attention. We knew that if we didn’t act to save it that it would be lost to the community forever.”
She continued “Back in 2015, the Churchwarden, John Moran approached Reverend Linda Frost for permission to apply for a grant to replace the floor with the assistance of National Lottery funding. This was the only way we could achieve the repairs. The €2,000 Good Causes funding from the National Lottery was a crucial first step in getting the project off the ground. It allowed us to repair the rotten floor but more importantly, it gave us great encouragement to know that others shared our vision to save St. Catherine’s.”
Since then, this voluntary committee have obtained funding through the Structures at Risk and Built Heritage Infrastructure grants, Beresford and AllChurches Trusts.
The stained-glass windows, some of which had been vandalised, have been repaired and restored.
The entrance pillars, roof, gutters, and the Vestry ceiling have all been repaired and new lime-plaster has been applied internally. The wooden windows, some with their original 1880 glass have also been repaired and painted. The icing on the cake was a new internal paint-job completed this year.
St. Catherine’s Church is now a hub of activity for the local community who have worked so closely together to make this restoration dream into a reality.
Julie continued “We would never have been able to undertake all of this work without the financial grants and assistance we received from The National Lottery, Beresford and AllChurches Trusts, our Dream Auction sponsors and RCB.
“And none of this would have been possible without the dedication and hard-work of our committee and the amazing community of Fenagh who supported our fund-raising activities. We are very grateful for the support of the local Catholic Church (St Mary's) in helping stage fundraising events including our Garda Band and Roscommon Solstice Choir concert on 25th October.”
She concluded “We are so excited to put St. Catherine’s on a national stage at the National Lottery Good Causes Awards and hope locals will tune in to Virgin Media One on Sunday 11th November at 9pm to see how we get on!”