Canon Roy Byrne writes…

Schoolhouse Restoration
The notices for planning permission have been placed on the principal entrances to the church for our proposed
project to restore the old Monkstown Village Schoolhouse, a historic, listed building, parts of which date to 1791
with later additions. Our plan includes a new multipurpose hall, coffee dock and reception area, parish office, plant
room, disabled access toilets, an upstairs apartment and a landscaped sensory and ecologically planted garden.
The schoolhouse building will be sensitively restored to best conservation standards, reusing original features and
replacing plastic gutters and unsightly modern additions. The original windows will be restored and original glass
reused and permission is being sought to open a new pedestrian entrance to Carrickbrennan Road which will allow
access to the schoolhouse through the new garden area. As part of the restoration of the schoolhouse we are
appealing for photographs of the school and artefacts such as old school maps, educational equipment, globes, old
school furniture etc, which may have come from the building when it operated as a school or items of a general
historic educational nature which might need a new home. We plan to keep the memory of almost 200 years of
educational history alive in the newly renovated building. The schoolhouse plans may be viewed in the church.
Parish Sale
We have started our collection of items to sell at November’s parish sale on Saturday 16 November from 10:00am
– 2:00pm. We require good quality bric-a-brac, books, toys, jewellery, unused gifts, raffle prizes, hats, handbags,
gloves, shoes etc. No clothes this year please and electrical items should be new and boxed. We are also looking
for donations of bottles for the bottle stall and donations of homemade cakes etc for the cake stall.
Choir Practice
Choir practices have resumed. Please speak to our organist Raymond Russell if you would like further information
about the parish choir.
Art Exhibition
Our thanks to all who supported our recent Art Exhibition. Numbers attending were up on last year and also the
number of paintings sold. We thank Donal Byrne from RTE for launching the exhibition and all who helped make
the weekend such a success.
Pet Service
The Monkstown Village Annual Service of Blessing of the Pets took place on a very damp and misty Sunday 15
September. It was great to see such a good turnout of dogs, both family pets and working dogs, and a solitary
rabbit who represented the rest of the animal kingdom! The collection at the service was for the work of Irish
Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Blue Cross Animal Charity. Our sincere thanks to Tom and Gillian Aplin for all their
help in making preparations for the service.
Summer of Heritage
Our sincere thanks to Jean Boydell and her helpers for all their hard work during Summer of Heritage to have the
church open for visitor on Saturday afternoons. We also opened daily from 2:00pm to 5:00pm for Heritage Week
and we once again thank Jean, Etain Murphy and our volunteers for helping to welcome our visitors and for
assisting with setting up and taking down exhibits.
Wedding
The marriage of Carla Cassidy and Eric Pelow took place in the church on Saturday 14 September. The parish choir
led the congregational singing and the glorious autumn sunshine and an ice cream van in the church grounds
added to the festivities. We wish Carla and Eric every blessing for the future.

Heritage Visitor Numbers for 2019
Culture Night on Friday 20 September completed the opening of Monkstown Parish Church for Heritage related
events for Summer 2019. We welcomed 255 visitors for Summer of Heritage, 343 for Heritage Week and 178 for
Culture Night, making a grand total of 776 people. So many parishioners and friends volunteered their time to
welcome the visitors. A big thank you to all of you for making it possible to open the church for these events. The
overall number was an increase of 20 on 2018 which was 756 with Summer of Heritage at 240, Heritage Week at
330 and Culture Night at 186. Jean Boydell