[The stained glass window on the right is actually located in St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh and is dedicated to the Parish of Churchtown-Liscarroll]
St. Nicholas, Church Churchtown, celebrated its 175th Anniversary on Sunday 7th December 2014. The church was built by David Creedon in 1839 during the ministry of Rev Fr David O’Leary. Incidentally, there is a Tablet in Buttevant church to Fr. O’Leary’s memory. Fr O’Leary died on 25th March 1859, in his 64th year and the 40th of his ministry.
The Creedon family proved generous benefactors to St Nicholas’. They donated the beautiful marble Holy Water Font in current use and in 1895 another member of the family in Liverpool presented a Sanctuary Gong which was accepted on behalf of the parish by Rev Fr Timothy O’Keeffe, P.P. The gong was recently returned from Knock Basilica where it reposed for some thirty years, to form part of Sunday’s celebration and it will remain in Churchtown for use on major Feast Days. The gong’s return was organised through the Churchtown Historical & Heritage Society which also had it re-lacquered and polished by Noel Power.
During his Homily Fr. Morrissey PP welcomed Mary Stokes O’Brien a direct descendant of the Creedon line, and Noel Power, to the church. Churchtown’s Choir again excelled and many remarked on the poignancy of the moment the Gong was borne to the altar as ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ reverberated through the ancient beams.
Afterwards a celebratory lunch was hosted in the Booney House. During the most enjoyable function, our host Dorothy Murphy, drew us to reflective mode with the observation that the mingling sounds of the altar bell and gong during Mass was symbolic of the current changes within our Church; the fusion of the old and new.
A cheque on behalf of Mary Merritt, formerly of Mount Bridget and now of New York, was presented by Noel Linehan to Fr Morrissey PP. Mary is also a descendant of the Creedon family. Mary had some years previously donated land at Mount Bridget to enclose a cillin.