A Markethill resident took a group of singers to his home church in Co Dublin where they performed in a Festival of Music.
John Scott (81), who has been living in Markethill for the last 10 years and is originally from Skerries, returned to Holmpatrick Church (CoI).
He was a member there until the age of 20 when he moved to further his career in insurance.
Proceeds from the event are to be used to provide a much-needed, new heating system.
Said John, “The present heating system and boiler appear to have been installed in 1869 when the beautiful stone built church was erected and has been inadequate for many years.”
Only eight former church members from John’s era are still attending the church and, now also in their late 70s and 80s, have to wear extra layers for the Sunday service. In addition, the sound system is very old and those elderly people and others who attend find hearing the service difficult.
John added, “The parish is not by any means pleading for funds.
“It has always been self supporting and the church, which holds 250/300 people, has been filled in the past – especially in summer months when it was swelled to capacity when Dublin people came to Skerries for their holidays.
“Many long-lasting friendships and relationships were formed during these months, and many of the offspring of marriages between locals and visitors attend the church today.”
Church numbers did dwindle for a while but today, under the new Rector Anthony Kelly, the congregation has increased to 125 approximately, with about 25 children, and is growing.
The Sunday School is a mobile building kindly donated and also provides toilet and kitchen facilities.
Anyone who would like to know more about the church should phone John on 028 3755 2932.