‘Sanctify This Space With Your Presence’ – Archbishop Dedicates Temple Carrig School Chapel
“This space is made sacred by your presence and the things you do here.” So said Archbishop Michael Jackson when he dedicated the chapel, or ‘red room’, in Temple Carrig School in Greystones this morning (Thursday February 6). He was speaking during a short service in the red room which was attended by students who represented the wide range of school groups, from the Open Minded and ACE groups to drama and student council, which use the space.
The red room is available for students for prayer, quiet time or reflection as well as for a wide range of small group activities. It has been created as a welcoming, inclusive space at the heart of the school.
The school, which is under Church of Ireland patronage, serves the entire community in Greystones and Delgany and their hinterlands. It opened in temporary pre–fab buildings in September 2014 and this year will see the first cohort of students sit their Leaving Cert exams.
The service was led by Simon Kilpatrick of the Temple Carrig chaplaincy team who acknowledged Church of Ireland funding for both the sacred space and the chaplaincy office.
Chairperson of the board of management, Garrett Fennell, said he had to pinch himself sometimes when he thought that six years ago Temple Carrig did not exist; there were no buildings and no pupils. Now, he noted, there were 830 students and the school was full. “We now have a community of teachers, parents and students and people accept that Temple Carrig is a core part of the community,” he said. “This is a faith based, Christian school under the patronage of the Church of Ireland… Ethos is important and precious and cared for. This room says that that ethos is important in the life of the school.”
Examining the word ‘sacred’ Archbishop Jackson said he believed things were made sacred or holy by use. “The way in which this school has rightly and stubbornly from the beginning wanted a space like this is admirable. From the days of the yellow vests and hard hats [when the building was being constructed] I was brought to a number of spaces where the students could gather and form friendships. The students will sanctify this space with their presence,” he said.
The Archbishop explained that the word ‘ethos’ was first used in terms of pasturage – horses were let out to ethos where they could eat, run and let off steam. “Ethos is primarily about habitat. It’s about where you spend your days, where you spend those formative hours, where you are fed and nurtured,” he commented.
Recalling the grant of patronage of the school to the Church of Ireland by the then minister, Ruairí Quinn, the Archbishop paid tribute to all, including Mr Fennell and principal, Alan Cox, who had put such hard work into achieving their vision of the school. He added that Temple Carrig was a flagship in Dublin & Glendalough and in the country.