Focus on . . . St Columb’s Cathedral

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St Columb’s Cathedral was recently restored at a cost of £4 million and has been described as ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the city.

It’s a building of importance and significance in terms of history, architecture and music. It’s also significant in terms of its outreach to the city and far beyond as a Church in which Almighty God is worshipped. Its members aim to “Transform Community: Radiate Christ”, to use Bishop Ken Good’s Diocesan Initiative.

It is an enormous privilege to minister here in this ancient church which has witnessed to God’s love right from long before the Great Siege of 1688/89 in what has often been a troubled environment. I find it encouraging that there are many people who relate that a visit to the Cathedral brings them a wonderful sense God’s Presence and of the atmosphere of worship which has been offered for centuries within the building’s hallowed walls.

A treasure

The first Cathedral of its kind built after the Reformation, St Columb’s provides an absolute treasure chest for locals and visitors alike to unpack. They will learn that it is home to:

- the oldest peal of bells in Ireland;

- the Promise Chalice and Paten (Communion Silver) sent over from London in 1613 as a pledge that the Cathedral would be built;

- the original padlocks and keys of the four principal Gates of the City in 1688;

- several artefacts from the Siege of Derry;

- a unique collection of Bibles and historic books often consulted by researchers;

- a wealth of information on historical figures from the past - like St Columba, the Earl Bishop, the world-famous philosopher Dean George Berkeley, the hymns writer Cecil Frances Alexander, and many more.

Services, tours and music

The Cathedral hosts a wide range of recitals, exhibitions and lectures, as well as being open Monday-Saturday 0900-1700 for tours. The Cathedral organ, which is one of the finest in Ireland having been restored and considerably enlarged in 2006, features extensively in our musical programme. On Friday 20 April it was played by the world renowned Carlo Curley, the ‘Pavarotti of the Organ’, who also gave the first concert on the organ after the programme of work on it in 2006, which cost £550,000.

On Sundays, services are at 0800, 1100 and 1600. There is a Daily Office each day at 1030.The Cathedral is a place of welcome to people of all denominations and faiths - and none.

Details of all services and special events are available from the Cathedral website: www.stcolumbscathedral.org or by telephoning 028 7126 7313.