Page 3, 1st October 1965

1st October 1965
Page 3
Page 3, 1st October 1965 — Flax-growers' church handed Protestant to Catholics

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Flax-growers' church handed Protestant to Catholics

A VILLAGE in Co. Waterford with a population of 200 has a Catholic church for the first time in its history through a generous gesture by the Church of Ireland authorities. The 200-year-old Church of Ireland chapel of ease at Villierstown, near Cappoquin, has been handed over to the Catholic Church.

The keys Were presented to the Very Rev. Daniel Quinlan, parish priest of Aglish, by the Dean of Lisrnore, the Very Rev. Gilbert Mayes, at an informal ceremony last month. Previously the nearest Catholic church to Vfilierstown, a fishing village on the banks of the Blackwater river, was three miles away at Aglish.

The church scats about 400 people and was built in 1752 by Lord Grandison for a colony of Ulster flax-growers who helped establish a linen industry in the area. The decision to hand it over was sanctioned by the Church of Ireland Representative Body.

The descendants of Lord Grandison. the VilliersStewart family, had also expressed a wish that the Church he handed over to the Catholic people of the village. It is the second time in recent years that a Church of Ireland church has been passed over to the Catholics. Some years ago a church in Ballinahinch. Co. Galway. was handed over.

"SHADE OF COUNCIL" Dean Mayes said at the ceremony that in these days Cathol'c and Protestants did not look upon each other as enemies. Although they were many miles removed from the actual scene. they were "meeting in the shade of the Vatican Council".

The Church of Ireland authorities had been faced with a problem in regard to the build'ng. They did not know what to do with it and when the people of the village expressed a wish to have it given to them, that wish was reciprocated. The Very Rev. Fr, Quinlan thanked the Church of Ire

land anthorit'es for their cesture. on behalf of the Vicar-Capitular of the Dio ceses el" Waterford and Lismore and the people of the parish. "It is wonderful to

realise." he said, "that thins are being said and done here today that would not have been possible ten years ago." A committee has been formed in the village to raise money for repairs and decorating. Mr. Kevin O'Sullivan is chairman and Mr. Gerald Browne secretary. An appeal for funds has been made and substantial contributions have already been received.

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