Malahide Parishioners Celebrate New Beginnings as Renovated Church Reopens
“The Holy Spirit of God is here and ready to lead,” Archbishop Michael Jackson declared yesterday (Sunday March 1) as parishioners in Malahide celebrated the reopening of their newly renovated church. The Archbishop rededicated St Andrew’s Church in Malahide following its unexpected overhaul. Emergency works had to be undertaken in the church but after months of work it has been restored to its former glory.
Parish treasurer Brian Brown who, along with glebe warden Ian Watkins, oversaw the works for the parish outlined the renovations which were carried out in the church which ranges in age from 150 to almost 200 years old. He said that €100,000 had been spent restoring the building to its former splendour after being hit by major structural difficulties. Work began with restoring the main aisles, replacing the old plaster with lime plaster and repainting with suitable paint. They thought the job had been completed with the plaster began dropping off the ceiling. The entire ceiling has been restored and insulated, securing the church building for generations to come. The clock in the tower has also been replaced.
In his sermon, the Archbishop drew on the Collect for Dedication: Almighty God, to whose glory we celebrate the dedication of this house of prayer: We praise you for the many blessings you have given to those who worship here, and we pray that all who seek you in this place may find you, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, may become a living temple acceptable to you through Jesus Christ our Lord. He said that the prayer sees us as a living temple and we have to do its work and enables us to hold together the sense of the temple being a place of spiritual energy as well as the church being a building.
Archbishop Jackson said that the work carried out in St Andrew’s to the glory of God and the benefit of the community was intricate and expert. He paid tribute to all involved and added that good use had been made out of the opportunity offered by a real crisis. Now, he said, it was time to look ahead to the next chapter.
“The next chapter of our faith is a chapter that we ourselves must write by the ways in which we live. Jesus returned from The Temple to Nazareth and grew strong. He grew strong for others every bit as much as he grew strong for himself. In fact it was more for others than it was for himself – because he underwent temptation and suffering to offer to all who would receive him that open–hearted word we found in St Luke’s Gospel: redemption. We need to rise up and do exactly the same as the disciples of The One who was sent by The Father – in our day, in our time, in our hour. So my question is a simple one: What will you do now? What will you do next? – now that your church building is restored and rededicated for use. The Holy Spirit of God is here and ready to lead,” he concluded.