New painting helps St Patrick’s, Cairncastle, celebrate 200 years

Friday March 6th 2015

Painting of St Patrick's, Cairncastle, by local artist Rosalind Fair.

Painting of St Patrick’s, Cairncastle, by local artist Rosalind Fair.

An original painting by local artist Rosalind Fair has been commissioned to mark the bicentenary of one of Co Antrim’s oldest and most attractive rural churches.

The picturesque St Patrick’s Church, Cairncastle, was built in 1815, looking out over Ballygally Bay on a site that has been a place of Christian worship for at least 800 years.

The painting includes the impressive Spanish chestnut tree which, according to local folklore, grew from the grave of a drowned sailor washed up from the wreck of a Spanish Armada ship in 1588.

Limited edition prints of the painting are now on sale at £10, and when they are all sold, the print numbers will be entered in a ballot with one lucky purchaser winning the original.  This idea launches an exciting programme of events taking place throughout 2015, beginning with a St Patrick’s Day Service at the church on Tuesday March 17 at 11am.  This will feature the choir from Cairncastle Primary School performing songs from their recent appearance at the Peace Proms event in the Odyssey.

Later that week there is a barn dance on Friday March 20 in Ballygally Hall at 8pm (tickets £10 per person).  Then on Sunday May 10 the Most Reverend Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, will take part in a special Bicentenary Service at 11.30am in the church, followed by a celebration meal in the Halfway House Hotel.

Other events include a Murder Mystery Night on Friday May 29 in Cairncastle Presbyterian Church Hall, and a church walk from St Patrick’s, Glenarm, to St Patrick’s, Cairncastle, on Saturday June 20.          .

The Rev Roger Thompson, rector of St Patrick’s with All Saints, Craigyhill, said: “It’s amazing how St Patrick’s has been a witness to God’s love in this community over so many generations, and we are delighted to be able to celebrate our 200th birthday this year.  We hope lots of friends old and new will come and join in our special events!”

For further info contact Roger on 28583220 or email

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