Rededication of St. Lawrence’s Church, Fintona,
Friday, 31 January 2014, 7.30pm
My dear friends,
I welcome all of you warmly to St. Lawrence’s Church, Fintona, for this special occasion. For many years, this Church has been admired as one of the finest in this part of the world. It has been well cared for by your present priests Canon Paddy Marron, and Fr. Jim Moore. One hundred and seventy three years old, the Church has smiled on many generations. It is no shame at that age to look for a bit of attention. Its call did not go unheeded.
I congratulate the architect Karl Peterson, the Main Contractor Woodvale Construction and their hardworking teams, as well as the Stone Subcontractors, McConnell and Sons – you have done excellent work, completed it within the year and you have happily married the old and the new. I also compliment the Clerk of Works, Noel James and the Quantity Surveyor Tom McGrade. The work of the past year is as skilled and pleasing as any of the other refurbishments and additions which there have been during the lifetime of St. Lawrence’s. The new bell is beautifully lit from the spire and calls us all cheerfully to prayer. When called to prayer the people of Fintona have never been less than generous in their response.
The stonework is a special feature of this Church, and has been enhanced within and without. Again, the team succeeded in marrying deftly the old with the new. You, the people of the parish, have been most generous in your support of this refurbishment. It is very much to your credit that you weathered the difficult financial times, realised the lasting nature of the work being done and left no shoddy work behind you. It was a magnificent Church and is still a magnificent Church. It smiles and blooms with the affection you all show it.
My dear people of Fintona, your Church stands with your school and homes as crucial in shaping the quality of your living. God is present to you here in a special way. The Word of God is proclaimed and is by now written on your forehead. The great Feasts of the Church’s Year from the Nativity to the Resurrection are celebrated here, and graced with lovely music and song. You come here to begin your life and to say farewell. It is here you celebrate the Eucharist which Jesus left to nourish our minds and hearts and keep us united as family and community around the table of God. So today is a day to rejoice and express our gratitude for all God’s gifts.
We pray that God will continue to bless us in mind and body, that he will bless our homes with his grace and empower us to raise our children in wisdom and grace before God. Let us stand and ask his favour as we begin by blessing water to remind us of our baptismal calling.
+Liam S. MacDaid 31 January 2014