THIS evening (Tuesday Nov 12) sees the launch of the St Patrick's Church, Armoy 2020 commemorative calendar, in the Lagg Hall at 7.30pm.
This 'kick starts' what should turn out to be an exciting year for the Rector and parishioners as they prepare to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the present church building, which sits adjacent to the iconic Armoy Round Tower,
Commenting, Gloria Hassall of the Round Tower Group, connected to the church, said:
“It is the 200th anniversary of Saint Patrick‘s in its present building,” she said, “and to start off our fund-raising we have produced a calendar, using photographs of the local area, all taken by our Rector, Christopher Easton.
“The money raised from this and other events will go towards the building of a toilet block!
“It seems funny to have this as the anniversary project but we only have a Portaloo at present and we get many visitors, to both the graveyard and the Round Tower.
“We have seen bus loads of visitors queueing at the Portaloo and it's the same for ourselves when we are at church.
“It was decided that this would be an appropriate and practical project and the plans are still being drawn up.
“I think it will be no problem as the facilities are essential and we also hope to increase the size of the car park and have disabled spaces as well.”
The church is planning a number of fundraisers during the bicentenary year, including a Big Breakfast and a Car Boot Sale on dates yet to be decided.
It is hoped that celebrations will culminate in a Christmas Tree Festival at the church at the end of next year.
“People are already filling smartie tubes with 20ps,” continued Gloria, a retired teacher.
She has been a “hobby painter” for many years and also works with ceramics.
“I have a kiln at home and hope to do mugs and coasters to raise some more money,” she said.
The Round Tower Group (for over 50s) were asked to “kick start” the fundraising on behalf of the church by Rev Easton, with Ruth McCurdy being a main inspiration behind the calender.
“We have sold advertising space to local businesses, and we are very grateful for their support," Gloria continued.
“In addition, the date lines on this commemorative calendar have also been offered for sale to our parishioners and our local community, for their special verse or hymn, to mark birthdays, anniversaries or community events.
"The positive community response has meant that we could go ahead with the printing,” Gloria concluded.
This evenings programme begins at 7.30pm with a welcome by the Rector, Canon Chris Easton.
Organisers are delighted that Ballymoney historian Keith Beattie will give a short overview of the history of the ancient site of the church, and this will be followed by a light supper.
A slide show of images relating to the church, its history and associated archaeological finds, will run throughout the evening.
The Calendar will be on sale at £5 per calendar. There are 300 copies and it will also be available to buy on line.
All will be made most welcome.