Crossmaglen locals rededicate Chruch of Ireland church building

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Thursday, April 26th, 2012
A group of locals in Crossmaglen gathered this week to rededicate their Church of Ireland church building, with several of those in attendance coming from the Roman Catholic community. The small church, located just over a mile outside of Crossmaglen, is setting an example according to secretary of Creggan Church of Ireland Kenny Donaldson, “The Protestant community in this area is small in numbers but we are making a big impact. We have only about eight families, which means some 13-15 people at each service. But we are regularly being held up as an example of how to get things done, for larger parishes who feel they cannot achieve anything.” “There has been a decline in the congregation since I was a child. About 25 years ago we had a congregation of 25-30 people. In 1960 our morning service would have had 130-140 people. Perhaps such people wanted to marry within their own community. A couple of families also moved out of the area for their own reasons some years ago. The security situation during the Troubles may have been a factor and they may have felt there was a risk attached, although my own family could count the numbers of sectarian experiences we have had on the fingers of one hand.” Mr Donaldson continued, “A third of the congregation today were from the Roman Catholic community. A similar proportion of people from the nationalist community would regularly attend events.” In conclusion Mr Donaldson mention how “secure” the church is amongst the local community, “On Saturday we had a tourist bus trip to the graveyard and a day of music and song in the church. We may be small in numbers but we are secure in our place in this community.”
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