Must see St Aengus church 'before you die' - new book

The Inishowen icon that is St. Aengus' Church in Burt received further international recognition this week when it was confirmed that it will be included in a soon to be published book, '1001 Buildings You Must See Before You Die'.

The book, which is being published by a prestigious London print house, Cassells, has, according to the publishers, a comprehensive listing of the 1001 most significantly important buildings in the world, from an architectural viewpoint.

Designed by the late Greencastle architect, Liam McCormick, the church, which is believed to be inspired by the circular form of the nearby ancient ring fort of Grianan of Aileach, was built in 1967. Regarded as McCormick's masterpiece, it was named the Building of the 20th Century in a poll run at the end of the Millennium by the Irish Architectural Society.

Last night local parishioner, Kathleen Grant, said locals were delighted that their church had been recognised for the beautiful building it truly was.

Kathleen said: "We are very proud of St. Aengus'. It is a beautiful building in every sense of the word and it truly has a spiritual feel to it. We are delighted."

The church was commissioned around 1963 to replace the existing church which was in urgent need of major repairs.

Liam McCormack looked at several sites in the village before persuading the then bishop, the late Dr. Neil Farren, to change the proposed location and build the church slightly out of the village. The final location was sited next to the Presbyterian Church to one side with the Church of Ireland on the other.

The publishers Cassell say the new book is "a visual testament to the beauty, grace, and fortitude of the world's greatest architectural achievements".

The Burt church is ranked right up there with noted architecture such as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Chrysler Building in New York and St. Paul's Cathedral in London.