€500K St Anne’s refurb nearing completion

Story by Sean McMahon

Thursday, 9th November, 2017 4:49pm

€500K St Anne’s refurb nearing completion

Fr Michael Router, PP Bailieboro and Sean O’Reilly from the Hard Times Chorus with the beautifully restored Altar and Rererdos area in St Anne’s Chuch.

A magnificent refurbishment project is nearing completion on St Anne’s Church in Bailieborough and the next stage of the work will see the transformation of the former Parochial House into an administrative facility.

The entire expenditure on both projects will top €500,000, with €300,000 of that expenditure going into the Church project.
Parish Priest Fr Michael Router told The Anglo-Celt this week that the impressive St Anne’s Church has been completely redecorated and the lighting system upgraded. A new floor involving the laying of a stone carpet on the main aisle was creatively completed, together with the installation of modern radiators.
The work commenced in February following careful advance planning for about two years.
Remarkably the entire project will be paid for in full without the requirement for fundraising and funds had been built steadily over the past 20 years.
Some of the money was invested wisely and they are about to reach maturity, so it was decided to run with the two projects this year. This was in no small part due to the generosity of the Parishioners over the past two decades.
The Bailieborough Deanery encompasses a total of nine parishes and it is an administrative unit within the Diocese, along with three others. Bailieborough falls in the St Benan’s Pastoral area.
The Sacristry has also been extended and work is nearing completion on merging the existing structure with the new one to create a comfortable new facility.
Fr Router said a picture of how the Reredos area of the Altar looked in 1914 was used to resurrect the decor from that era. Artists Andrew and Jenny Regan from Clondra in Longford were responsible for restoring the creative beauty of the past. The four paintings of the Evangelists have also been beautifully restored on the ceiling area over the altar.
The statues that form part of the Reredos too have been reconditioned to their original impressive artistic detail and are further complimented by some gold leaf highlights. The flat roofs were also replaced by Trocal roofing.
Fr Router is living in the Curate’s House and the Parochial House will be turned into a Parish Office. It will feature three meeting rooms and two offices and it is hoped to employ a Pastoral Assistant shortly.

Nigerian Priests

The priest in the other end of the Parish is Fr Addison Okpeh from Nigeria and there are two other Nigerian Priests working in the Diocese - one in Munterconnaught and the other in Cavan Town. They are all from the Missionary Order of St Paul of Nigeria.

Gallery facility totally transformed

There is an excellent choir attached to St Anne’s Church and the expansive Gallery area with an elevated panoramic view of the entire church has been carpeted and refurbished. It is also hoped to install a screen and projector, so that the words of hymns can be visible to the congregation.
 Hard Times Chorus Concert
There will be a brilliant concert in the newly refurbished St Anne’s Church this Friday, November 10, at 8pm, and the Hard Times Chorus Choir will be performing to give thanks for how wonderful the church looks today.
One of the Themes will be ‘Thank You For The Music’, with lots of Abba songs. They will also be doing Sky Fall from 007 and some Beatles hits, along with an array of other music. The lighting and acoustics in the Church all combine to create a magical evening’s entertainment.
Sean O’Reilly explained: “We formed the Hard Times Chorus in 2012 in the middle of the recession when a number of charities were finding it difficult to collect money. There was so much talent in the community, we felt we could do something to help all those charities. It was also a social outlet for people.”
There are over 60 members in the Choir at this stage and it has expanded to include neighbouring communities and the musical director is Claire O’Reilly from Cootehill. The choir is currently accompanied by Rob Kiernan from Kingscourt and Thomas Hanley from Bailieborough.
Sean says that they have raised over €60,000 since they started the Hard Times Chorus for different charities. They have done concerts for Cavan and Monaghan Palliative Care, Bailieborough Regeneration Group, The Lights Committee, The Tidy Towns and also performed a concert for Bailieborough Cancer.
The tickets for the concert are available in Harris’s SuperValu, Bailie Stores, Bailie Hotel and also from the local Parish Office or on the door. The tickets cost €15. The Church holds around 450 people.

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