Funding boost for St Macartan's

ST Macartan’s church, Augher, is one of seven much-loved Northern Ireland churches to share £30,000 of funding from the National Churches Trust.

The cash is part of the Treasure Ireland project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pilgrim Trust and the Department of Communities.

The Wolfson Foundation has contributed a further £2,500 grant to the church.

Claire Walker, chief executive officer of the National Churches Trust, said: “Northern Ireland’s historic churches and chapels play a vital part in its national heritage and have done so much to help local people during the Covid-19 lockdown. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.

“So I’m delighted that the Treasure Ireland project is able to support seven churches and chapels, funding that will help secure the future of these historic buildings.”

St Macartan’s (Forth Chapel), Augher, has been awarded a grant of £7,500 for repairs to deteriorating timber window frames that support stained glass created by Joshua Clarke Studios and date from 1922.

An additional grant of £2,500 from the Wolfson Foundation has enhanced the award.

St Macartan’s is a nationally important historic building, constructed between 1838-46. The Chapel is dedicated to St. Macartan (d. 506) who is believed to have established a monastery at Clogher at the direction of St Patrick. The chapel was built on the site of an early Irish hill fort.

The other churches to benefit are:

St Peter’s, Belfast;

Clanabogan Parish Church;

Newtownbreda Baptist Church;

St Patrick, Gortin Village, Omagh;

The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Strabane;

Waringstown Presbyterian Church.

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