Holy Family Church, Military Hill

Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving & Remembrance

110th. Anniversary of the opening of the Church

(Co-Officiating Ministers; Rev. Laurance Grahem, Ardfallen Centre, Rev. Geraldine Gracie, Ecumenical Officer, Rev. Bernard Cotter, Holy Family Church.)

Sunday 25th. September 2005

History of Military Hill Church

'The earliest Methodist place of worship on the north side of the city was a small chapel at Barrackton which was primarily for the benefit of military personnel. By the end of the 19th. century the north side of the city had become fashionable. The Methodist people first considered enlarging the chapel at Barrington but then decided to build a new and much finer structure on Military Road. It was the first Methodist building in Cork to be designated as 'church' rather than a 'chapel' and in style it was more clearly designed for 'word and Sacrament' than as a preacher house. It included the provision of a hall and schoolrooms. (Tennis courts were later added). It was in use by the Methodist Church until 1949 when emigration and financial constraints forced major changes on the circuit.....'

from the 22nd Methodist Conference Plan and Directory (Cork 1991)

The church, as described in 1905

'After careful consideration, a plot was selected on Military Road, and a new church was erected there. The memorial stone was laid by Mr. John H Thompson on August 23rd, 1894, and the church was opened for worship on Wednesday, September 23rd, 1895, by the Rev. J. Ernest Clapham, of London.'

'Military Road Church accommodates a congregration of about 400. It is provided with excellent schoolrooms, and is one of the most beautiful and comfortable sanctuaries in Methodism.'

- from a Historiette of Methodism in Cork, published in 1905


Following the Entrance Hymn, Fr. Bernard gave an introduction and welcome to a packed congregration of Roman Catholic parishioners and members Cork's Methodist Community. A Gathering Prayer was given by Rev. Laurence followed by the first reading (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 6-9a, 11, 14, 16-18a) read by Carol Dorgan and then silent reflection. Psalm 34 was led by Rev. Geraldine and the congregation was invitated to participate in responses.

The second reading (Colossians 3:12-17) was read by Cecily Lynch also followed by silent reflection. Again the congregation was invited to sing the hymn 'Love divine, all loves excelling' (Charles Wesley, 1747)

The 'Holy Family' and 'Ardfallen' candles were lit from the Easter candle, which had been blessed in the church on the previous Easter night, the symbol of Christ the light of the world. The light was passed around the church and with the congregation standing the Gospel (Matthew 5:13-16) was read by Fr. Bernard.

The Homily was given by Rev. Geraldine.

There followed an exchange of gifts between Rev. Laurence and Fr. Bernard, an address by Tom McGrath, a collection in support of the Cork Simon Community, an Intercession/Sign of Peace with a response 'O Lord hear my prayer' (Taize Community)

The Lord's Prayer and Closing words/Prayer of blessing concluded the Service.

Or did it !!!

Photo's of the reception in the church are below, who do you recognise? You can help by advising us at mail@stpatrickscork.com , referring to the photo number.

(1) Fr. Bernards introduction and welcome (2) Invitation to Rev. Laurence - Gathering Prayer
(3) Rev. Geraldine reading Psalm 34 (4) The lighting of Holy Family & Ardfallen candles
(5) Lighting of candles/Gospel (6)
(7) Rev. Laurence thanks Fr. Bernard (8) Fr. Bernard and photo of Church in Construction
(9) (10)
(11) (12)
(13) (14) Sean Jackman
(15) (16) Dan Hyde
(17) (18)
(19) (20)
(21) (22)
(23) (24)
(25) (26)
(27) (28)
(29) (30)
(31) (32)
(33) Rev. Geraldine Grace & Rev. Laurence Graham (34) And again
(35) (36)
(37) Mrs Gibbs (38)