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Please verify your birth date to continue. Month January February March April May June July August September October November December Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Year Social Facebook Twitter. Similarly, St Werburgh's benefitted from the sale of the former St Andrew's Church in Suffolk Street, the money from the investment of which helps to keep its doors open. However, the upkeep of St Werburgh's - the most beautiful of all Dublin Georgian churches, according to architectural historian Maurice Craig - has become "a huge problem", says Canon David Pierpoint, rector of the Christ Church Cathedral group of inner-city parishes.
The ceiling needs to be completely re-plastered and its windows are rotting. St Stephen's on Mount Street Crescent may be on the point of closure, he says, although its rector, Canon Thomas Haskins, says that, just yet, "the Church of Ireland doesn't want to go down that road", although he acknowledges that it lacks the good fortune imposed by geography and a surviving property to rent which St Ann's enjoys in Dawson Street. St Michan's and St Audoen's the latter the oldest centre of worship in Dublin survive at least partly because members of the congregations, who now live in far-flung suburbs, still worship there.
It should be noted that the Catholic Church also has some problems in this area. The famous St Paul's on Arran Quay, familiar to readers of Joyce, was closed for some years too, but has found a perhaps temporary new life as a centre for the San Egidio community, and, during Lent, for Romanian Orthodox services each Thursday evening.
Another beautiful former Catholic church, St Michael's and St James's, owned by Temple Bar Properties, is used as a rehearsal, performance and exhibition space.
It is a tenuous survival, paradoxically made more difficult by new regulations designed to help conserve our built heritage. In St Werburgh's, the present window glass dating from must be used in any window frame replacement.
Understandable, but it increases the cost. There are signs, however, that the authorities, or at least some of them, are waking up to the problems posed by the possible closure of buildings of this kind. Following an initiative taken by Cllr Emer Costello Labour at DCC last year, the council has declared it an objective in the current Development Plan approved in February "to initiate a study to determine the most appropriate new uses and innovative ways of securing the future of redundant places of worship".
What happened to St George's focused a lot of our attentions, says Barrett, and he is hoping to generate a debate on the issues involved.
Mooting the idea of State involvement, Barrett says DCC will be talking to the planners "looking at what is done elsewhere, and that we may well be making a submission to the Government on this issue". This has to be spread out over about applications each year.
Clearly the present grant allocations are nowhere near enough to deal with the long-term conservation of buildings such as St George's or St Werburgh's. In the case of the CCT, for example, when a church of significant architectural merit is being considered for closure, a report is prepared on the quality of the church and its contents, and "other ecclesiastical and secular organisations which may have an interest" in it are consulted, according to the CCT's website www. An example of the renewal such an attitude can bring is that of a late 18th-century disused church in Bristol now housing "the country's leading circus school".
Another example is St Peter's Kirk in the Orkney Islands, rescued from derelection in the s, and now a venue for concerts and even the occasional wedding. Each of these organisations in the UK receives at least some support, indirectly, from government, either through the Heritage Council in England and Wales, from Historic Scotland north of the border, or from the Lottery.
Is this the way we need to go? Echoing the position of the city architect, Canon John Crawford of the Church of Ireland, author of the recently-published The Church of Ireland in Victorian Dublin, states that "there should be some function in law about this". In any event, what happened to St George's, and before it to other fine churches such as St Mary's in Mary Street, surely should not be allowed to happen again.
In splendid desolation Sat, Apr 9, , Some of Dublin's finest old Georgian churches are falling into disrepair, so perhaps it's now time for the State to take an interest, writes Peter Thompson Observant Dubliners will have noticed a change in the city's skyline recently. Editor's Choice Most Viewed.