Church Review Notes August 2011

Saint Catherine and Saint James with Saint Audoen

Sunday Services

10.00 Eucharist, St Audoen Cornmarket (parking in Francis Street).

11.30 Eucharist, St Catherine & St James Donore Avenue (service of the Word Second and Fourth Sundays).

Visiting Preachers

We are very grateful to those who have helped during the Summer months, while Bernard Woods, Lay Reader, and so many others are away. Thanks to the Revd Patricia McKee Hanna, Chaplain to the University of Limerick, and to Nicola Halford, whose ordination on 25 September at Christ Church Cathedral will be the next step in her response to Christ’s call to ministry in his Church.

Midsummer Concert (by AJ Ragastik)

On a nice Sunday afternoon, a crowd gathered under the roof of ancient St. Audoen’s. Choir reherasals took place and more than twenty singers became acclimatised to the fine acoustics of the Church.

All the visitors who came through the PWO Visitors’ Centre enjoyed the singing, and were more then welcome to sit down and listen. Obviously they were a bit confused, as most of the songs were not in English; they tried to guess the origin and the language of the singers.

It was Kolga-Kuusalu Chamber choir from Estonia along with the conductor Taavi Esko that came nearly 3000km from their home to give a free Midsummer Concert in St. Audoens for Estonian people living in Dulblin, and all those who enjoy choral singing. The choir was founded in 1987 and since then it has toured the world, winning numerous prizes in many contests. The choirs’ repertory has always been very diverse, including compositions from Lassus to contemporary pop-music variations. In cooperation with other musicians of Kuusalu Parish and choirs of Harju County we have sung great works by Mozart, Gounod and Charpentier (Messe Solennelle, Te Deum, Messe de Minuit and others) . In the year 2010 a new CD was released with traditional songs of Kuusalu Parish.

After more than two hours of rehearsal, they were ready to provide a unique experience to all those who had gathered. It was hard to find a vacant seat, so many people were there. Almost half of the people were tourists and Irish people, who welcomed the oppurtunity to hear something they never have heard before, as well as masterpieces of well-known composers, including Sergei Rachmaninov, Kreek   and  Zoltan Kodaly.  The performance included items from V Tormis and  U Sisask  in the Estonian language.

The audience was overwhelmed by the beauty of the voices of the singers, performing in traditional costume. People couldn´t stop cheering, when the last song was finished. Loud great applause was heard, when the concert ended.

‘I would come back to give another concert in St.Audoen`s anytime!’ said conductor Taavi Esko, when they had finished, with an encore. The Chamber Choir was amazed  by the history and the beauty  of the St. Audoen’s Church. They were very pleased with the warm welcome and help they recievd from the Parish and the OPW, and were grateful for the opportunity to perform a concert there. So both the visitors and the choir was satisfied with the event and we hope to have more of them here.

The Estonian community in Dublin would like to send special thanks to St. Audoen`s Parish Church and to the Vicar, the Revd Canon Mark Gardner, for the opportunity to have a concert here, and also to thank all those who supported us in organising the event, as we are an organisation which depends solely on donations and the help of poeple who are interested in cultural events. Once again, many thanks to Kolga-Kuusalu Chamber Choir! AJ Ragastik, Estonian community in Dublin


Lily Isaacson was the last indigenous parishioner of St Audoen’s. Having lived in Bridge Street, she was moved to a flat nearby when the old houses were demolished. Her funeral took place recently in the Church of St Catherine and St James. Now, a new Church of Ireland family has moved into Thomas St, and are attending St Audoen’s, replacing there a member of the C of I clergy who had fallen on hard times but is now taking steps towards ministry again. We are glad that they have been able to move to more spacious accommodation and that as members of St Audoen’s congregation have been able to move into a new apartment, more suited to them. It is a great joy to have children in Church in St Audoen’s after many years without them.


Smith of Derby, a well known firm, have a representative in Ireland. He has recently examined the public clocks in St Audoen’s House, Cook St, and St George’s, Temple St, and St Audoen’s Cornmarket. We look forward to his reports on these significant and historical clocks.

St Catherine’s National School

We are delighted to be able to report that the Minister has heard our eloquent appeal and has allowed the Special Needs teacher, Caroline Browne, to continue for another year. This is the result we had hoped for, but were not sure that we would be able to achieve. I was delighted when Councillor Henry Upton ‘phoned to tell me that the post would ‘roll over’ for another year!

St Audoen’s

While St Audoen’s is one of the oldest and most historic Churches in the city, the approach was made in about 1828, and the principal doors date from then. They have now been restored and returned, from the joiner’s workshop, sooner than was expected, and look very fine indeed. Brass memorials from St Peter’s Church, Aungier St. have also been restored and returned to St Audoen’s. This is fitting, as much of the income of St Peter’s (now sadly demolished) is devoted to the maintenance of St Audoen’s.

Mark Gardner