Rathangan Parish Church Restoration & Development Project

For the restoration and development of the Church of the Assumption and St Laurence O’Toole, Rathangan 1873.

A recent survey carried out on the Church outlined a number of essential maintenance and safety issues that need to be addressed they can be summarised as follows:
1) Restoration & repair of the Spire
2) Stabilise & make safe the Bell 
3) Upgrading the Lightning Protective System

We would also like to undertake some non essential work such as:
1) Upgrading the Heating & Lighting system
2) Repainting the inside of the church from top to bottom.

To enable the parish to fund these renovations a number of fundraising events will be held. We will also hope to avail of grant assistance and contributions through the sale of parish property.

Following our public meeting held 23rd Feb 2009 we are also appealing to each of our parishioners to make a voluntary contribution. Ideally we would hope to receive €1,000 per household/wage-earner over the length of the project. This could be a once off contribution or divided over five-ten years.
Any contribution big or small will be welcome at any time.

Church Story 
In 1863 Rev Garrett O’Toole PP Rathangan decided to build a new church. The foundation stone was laid 1st June 1870. The Church, a Gothic cruciform building is built of red conglomerate stone from the local quarry of Nicharee, with Carlow granite forming the dressings of the doors and windows. Inside it has seven arches resting on Cork red marble pillars separating the nave and choir from the side aisles.

The main-east-window depicts scenes from the bible; the west window-Our Lady and the other windows depict some of the saints. The tower and spire, 135ft to the top of the cross, form a conspicuous landmark in the locality; as a result the church is referred to locally as “The Cathedral of the fields”. The dedication of the church, to “The Assumption and St Laurence O’Toole” took place on 5th October 1873. The project, costing somewhere in the region of £9,000 was funded primarily by Canon O’Toole and a medallion portrait of him can be seen on the sanctuary floor in the area between the main and high altar.

The church building remains a central part of the local community marking all significant aspects of our lives regardless of our contribution or involvement. The walls are hallowed by the presence of God and the prayers of people over the generations. The doors are open to each and every one of us, the building needs to be protected and preserved to pass on to future generations.

Please help us.

List of Proposed Essential Repair Work 
1) Access, expose and extract all corroded ironwork internally and externally throughout the spire. A new internal metal support framework will need to be installed.

2) Overhaul and improve the anchorage bar.

3) Stabilise and make safe the bell support system and renew all mountings, braces and lock nuts etc.

4) Supply and install new supports to main bell platform.

5) Remove corroded platform above level of main bell.

6) Cut out and repoint complete Spire in approved hydraulic lime mortar.

7) Correct faults in side aisle roofs.

8) Repair and replace where necessary all rainwater goods.

9) Fit a new Lightning protective system.

Estimated Cost €320,000

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