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Northside church faces closure

Wednesday, 7th March, 2018 4:13pm

A northside church is appealing for funding as it faces closure over safety concerns.

The Church of the Ascension in Gurranabraher is facing possible closure due to the poor condition of its roof.

Melting snow this week has led to water leaking into the sacristy of the church, causing water damage.

Phelim Collins, Secretary of the Parish Finance Committee, told the Cork Independent: “This church has served the parish very well since 1955. Unfortunately, when we got the roof checked several years ago, we were advised that the entire roof would need replacing, at an overall cost of over €460,000.

“If we do not replace the roof, the church will have to be closed, as it will become a safety hazard to churchgoers.”

Mr Collins said that losing the church would be a “massive blow to the community”, adding that it would not be convenient for churchgoers to travel to other churches in Blackpool or Farranree.

“It’s more than just going to mass; it’s part of the community, it’s part and parcel of who the people of Gurranabraher and Farranree are,” he said.

In order to raise funds for the replacement of the roof, the church is launching a renovation appeal today, Thursday 8 March, in Cork City Hall.

It will be launched at 5pm by Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley.

The church hopes to have the work completed within six to eight months and it will remain open for services during that time.

St Vincent's Catholic Church in Sunday's Well was closed in June 2016 due to a lack of priests, an event Gurranabraher and Churchfield parish priest Fr Tomás Walsh said prompted the Ascension Church to address its own future.

He said: "It was only when the church in Sunday’s Well closed that the people in the area realised what they had lost. Our church is a great source of comfort for people, even those who wouldn’t normally come, young people for example, who seek comfort in coming when they experience the death of a friend through suicide.

“Cllr Fitzgerald, a former parishioner who has had huge involvement at the parish over the years, has kindly agreed to use his office to appeal to the people of Cork to appeal for funds. With the help of God we are hoping that we will be successful and that our church will remain open,” he said.

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