TWO HUNDRED years of worship at Kilgarriffe Church in Clonakilty by the Church of Ireland community were celebrated in a very special service last Sunday afternoon.
The church was packed to capacity by the local congregation and visitors from other areas as well as friends and special guests of other denominations. The energetic Rev Kingsley Sutton led the happy occasion on his guitar with plenty of singing of joyous hymns.
Doubling as the Harvest Service, readings were read by Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, Deputy Mayor; Fr Kamil Bachara, CC; Heather Christie of the Methodist Church and former Rector of the Kilgarriffe Union delivered the keynote sermon. Throughout, the children from Kilgarriffe School sang, as did the whole congregation, with Roy Buttimer organist also leading.
During the service, the Maria O’Donoghue, chairperson of the Roman Catholic Parish Assembly, and Fr Kamil Bachara, CC, presented a commemorative plaque and two presentation tables. Around the church were displays of parish activities, such as the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades, the school, Little Treasures Playgroup, as well as a very interesting historical section, featuring photos, copies of minutes of Vestry Committee meetings and chalices, etc. These all created a lot of interest and were available until 7pm that evening and throughout the week.
After the service, everyone retired to the nearby Parochial Hall where the usual array of homemade cakes and delicacies were served up with plenty of tea and coffee. A 200th birthday cake was cut by the oldest parishioner, Mrs Bella Helen, and one of the youngest children in the hall, Hannah Buttimer.
The exhibitions continued within the church for the rest of the week and, on Tuesday evening, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage members Michael O’Mahony and Diarmuid Kingston delivered an interesting lecture on the history of the church and some of the families interred in the graveyard outside.