BY CHRISTINA FARRELL
THIS IS ALL that remains of the Holy Redeemer Church in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, in the Scottish Isles, after a devastating fire that took hold in the early hours of last Friday.
In a statement, parish priest Fr Paul Hackett SJ said he was confident that the parish would recover.
“God brings good out of everything,” he said, “and a new church will eventually rise from the ashes. In the meantime, we’ll do our best to carry on as usual.” The church, which was opened just 13 years ago, is located on Kenneth Street in the centre of the island. Police do not believe that arson is involved — they have ruled out any wilful or malicious action: faulty electrical wiring is believed to be the cause of the blaze.
The church was opened in May 1991, replacing an old wooden hut. The completion of the building was the vision of the late parish priest Fr Isaias Capaldi SJ — it was consid ered a fitting and lasting tribute to his ministry.
Bishop Ian Murray of Argyll and the Isles said he received the news of the fire with deep sadness and shock: “I offered Mass for all of you this morning,” he said, “and will continue to remember you in my prayers over the coming weeks and months.”