Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Kilmacrennan, St. Finian and St. Mark

Kilmacrennan, "the church of the son of Nennain" is a village some eleven kilometers north-west of Letterkenny. Columba spent his childhood here, and was educated at Temple Douglas nearby. He is siad to have founded a monastery in the locality.

Kilmacreenan old church was built after 1622. In the 1729 survey, the church was in good repair. This was demolished in 1845, and was replaced with the present church which was completed in 1846. It is a hall church with a porch near the west end of the south side. To the west of that, almost on the south west corner is a square tower which is surmounted by a small conical spire. The vestry room is opposite the north wall. The baptistery occupies the whole length of the west wall, and it was arranged in its present form in 1979. It was at this time that the church was given its present dedication. The sanctuary was refurbished in 1939.

There are three diamond paned clear windows on both the north and the south walls and a diamond paned window of two lights in the west wall, and a large similar window of three lights in the east wall, which is decorated with fleur de lys and other patterns in colour.

There is one small window in each side of the sanctuary. Thus, the whole building is spacious, airy and brightly lit. The pulpit, which is on the right side of the nave, came from a Congregational chapel in Galway via a Jesuit church! It is finely carved with figures from the Reformation. The prayer desk was made and presented by Canon James Gerald Harvey, Rector, 1921-1957.

On the north wall is a monument to the Rev. William Allman, Rector 1873-1895. There is also a memorial to Hugh Kennedy and his parents, in whose memory the amplification system was installed. On the south wall is a brass plaque to George Allman, son of the Rev. W. Allman, who died in 1911, as well as a memorial to Alex Baxter who died in 1999, and to Jeannie Baxter who died in 1992. The chancel lights and other gifts were presented in their memory. The former Robertson school adjacent to the church, is now in use as a parish hall.

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