Catholic and Protestant Churches Unite to Defend Newry Cathedral | Newry City News | Latest Newry News, Newry Sport and Newry Business for Newry City

Catholic and Protestant Churches Unite to Defend Newry Cathedral | Newry City News

Newry’s Catholic, Anglican and Methodist church leaders have joined together to defend the city’s cathedral.


Catholic and Protestant Churches Unite to Defend Newry Cathedral | Newry City News - newry church chapel


Newry Cathedral Parish Administrator Canon Francis Brown, Church of Ireland Rector Canon Scott McDonald and Rev Louise Donald of the Methodist Churches of Newry, Bessbrook and Warrenpoint are united in their concern over council plans to overshadow the Gothic granite grandeur of Newry Cathedral with a vast concrete office block known as the ‘Civic and Regional Hub’.

The city cathedral was the first opened in Ireland after Catholic emancipation.

The building was constructed in 1829 – just as most restrictions were lifted from Roman Catholics across the UK and Ireland.

The Catholic diocese dates back to the sixth century.

Believing their listed place of worship to be under threat, more than 2,500 Catholic parishioners have signed letters of protest objecting to the council offices.



Their complaints were presented recently to the planning department of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Canon Francis Brown – who has just celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination – feels the Council should listen to the community and put a halt to this ‘expensive, unpopular and unnecessary project’ that parishioners feel will eclipse the Cathedral’s bicentenary celebrations in 2029.

“Newry people are asking the Council not to blight its appearance with a wholly inappropriate modern building,’ he says.

“Surely this is not too much to ask?”

Canon Scott McDonald – who is Rector of St Patrick’s and St Mary’s, Newry – says, “I fully support Canon Brown and his parishioners as they seek to protect the environment around the Cathedral.

“I would hope that their entirely legitimate concerns are not just noted – but also addressed respectfully and diligently.

“As a faith community, they must be heard seriously and their protests upheld.”

Revd Louise Donald says, “The congregations who form the Newry Circuit of the Methodist Church in Ireland would urge Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to give serious consideration to all options in relation to the siting of the new Civic Hub – and in particular to give due deliberation to the concerns raised by parishioners of Newry Cathedral.

“The impact of any new construction on the buildings which surround it must be adequately assessed, but surely particular regard must be given to a structure with the historic and aesthetic significance of the Cathedral.”

She adds, “There should also be attention given to any potential constraint on the life of the worshipping community of the Cathedral, which has been present there for almost 200 years.”


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Posted by on Jun 21 2024. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Catholic and Protestant Churches Unite to Defend Newry Cathedral | Newry City News”

  1. Madge Boyle

    The character of the city should be retained…no huge buildings should obtain planning permission.

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