Sunday, June 06, 2004

Norwegian, erm, Lithuanian Wood?

Matt, over at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping, 'blogs about the Wooden Churches of Lituania. Not to be outdone, I tried to find a picture of Rearcross Church, a chapel constructed from corrugated iron which I stumbled upon in rural Ireland some years ago. I couldn't find a picture, but did discover that it contains stained glass representations of SS. William and Thomas Aquinas, presumably after the names of the donors. I also seem to remember that the church was formerly a protestant chapel in a mining part of Wales, and was purchased by this Irish parish when the coal industry in that part of Wales went into decline and the chapel no longer had a congregation.
It claims to be unique, but it seems that there is a Swiss Gothic corrugated iron church, which was/is used by a Church of Ireland (Anglican) parish in Co. Monaghan.
The story of how Rearcross got its chapel reminds me of another story about the opportunistic capabilities of the Irish Clergy in matters of money - have a look at the distinctive copper dome of Our Lady Refuge of Sinners, one of Dublin's finest churches. The dome was originally constructed in Scotland for a Russian Orthodox Church, but the Bolshevik Revolution made that project impossible. Therefore, when rebuilding the church after the fire, the canny priests from Dublin were able to acquire this unusual feature for a knockdown price.

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