St Colman’s Parish Church, Dunmurry,
was packed on Sunday September 10 for a service of rededication and thanksgiving following a fire which caused major damage in January 2016.
The rector, the Rev Adrian McLaughlin,
was alerted to the fire by the rectory cat Tilly, who is now commemorated in a new stained glass window in the refurbished church.
Representatives of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service who were at the scene on the night of the fire attended the service. The preacher was Mr John Williams, Diocesan Lay Reader and Hon Secretary of Dunmurry Parish, and the church was rededicated by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy.
The fire, which was accidental, caused major damage to the roof, the zinc pipes in the organ melted, the stonework and the arches were burned, and the organs and a chandelier were destroyed along with the furniture in the choir stalls and the lectern. Anything that wasn’t damaged by fire was smoke, tar and water damaged.
On September 10 the congregation was able to return to a transformed building.
There is a new meet–and–greet area leading into the church through a glass partition. The tiled floor is decorated with the St Colman’s cross. Other changes include a new gallery above the organ pipes, the chancel has been brought forward, the font has been moved, and a new side chapel has been created, housing the stained glass window commemorating the fire with images of flame, water and Tilly the cat.
There is a new side entrance for disabled access, and a lift to the chancel.
A temporary organ was in use for the service of rededication and thanksgiving – a new organ and pipes are currently being built.
For further information please contact:
Mrs Karen Bushby
Diocesan Communications Officer, Connor
Church of Ireland House
61–67 Donegall Street
028 9082 8874
Via:: Church of Ireland