St Thomas’s Opens for the Summer


Sven Hebermann at Conservation Letterfrack has now restored all the windows, which needed a lot of very careful attention.

These are due  to be re-instated next week. He has done an incredible job and they will look magnificent. Sven – a big thank you from us all !

A special Service with Bishop Patrick as celebrant will take place in Moyard on Sunday 17th July at 10am Please put this date in your diary and be there!

Normal services will then resume for the Summer Months

Every Sunday in July and August at 10am and 1st and 3rd Sunday in September

Closing on 2nd of October after the Harvest Festival on that day

Omey Summer Newsletter


Christ Church Spire Appeal

There is good news to tell in that since our launch at Easter, the Spire Appeal has now reached €20k. Personal donations from across the community and a Heritage grant of €5k together with a successful application to the Diocesan Church Maintenance Fund resulting in a further €5k has given us great encouragement. Allchurches Trust has also responded positively to our application.

Christ Church Graveyard Initiative

This has resulted in securing on-going funding from the Ruttledge Institute in the States for the maintenance of this beautiful site. Funding has also been secured through the Department of An Taoiseach for the mapping of the graves. We continue to work closely with the various groups involved in the Clifden Biodiversity Plan, Galway County Council Heritage officer, and the County Archaeologist to attract more visitors to this site which is so rich in nature and a safe environment for teaching the young, and young at heart, about the natural environment and the history of this spiritual and sacred site. A date will be fixed shortly for the actual mapping process of the graveyard to begin and this will give an opportunity for all those interested to be participants in the process.

Christ Church and its burial ground are rich in history and our vision for the next stage of preservation and development of this heritage site includes nature trails, encouraging (through sympathetic landscaping and planning) wildlife and pollinators, a peace garden, and our biggest wish – an outdoor ‘class room’. The latter would be used not only for school children but for the many visitors that partake of guided walks and talks – or just somewhere to sit and soak up the surroundings on a solitary visit, an ideal environment to enjoy rich biodiversity we hope to create. Exciting times ahead !

A wake up call……for everyone

Plans are well advanced now for our annual Christ Church fete. This will take place on August Bank Holiday Monday 1st – from 1.00pm to 4.00pm.

This year we are focusing upon Christ Church and the surrounds and also we are linking with the Town Hall where the excellent facilities there will offer us security in case of inclement weather conditions. It will also mean that we do not have to transport in the various catering equipment and toilet facilities. We are delighted that working closely with Galway County Council Warden (Tommy O’Sullivan) and the Gardai we propose to have a safe walkway linking the two sites. There will be bouncy castle, barbeque, games, face painting, jam stall, tombola, raffle, music, games, garden stall (organised by the Gardening Club) and a host of activities which will make for wonderful community event.Everyone has a part to play – if you can help in any way – make jams, bake a cake, provide plants or bric a brac, books etc then please contact:     Lesley on 087 8494974 or Rosemary on 095 21147

 Saving St Thomas’s Ballinakill (Moyard)

This beautiful church, part of the Omey Union, is in desperate need of tender loving care to secure its future as a treasured site for generations to come. Many of us did not realise that the Select Vestry of the Omey Union have the responsibility of the church which is a protected structure. We have several options:

  1. Do nothing and let the building fall into a decaying heap of stones.
  2. Sell it off to a private buyer and watch as it becomes a ‘secular’ space
  3. Or, renovate it to its former glory so that those who have cherished this place in years gone by will not have hoped in vain that it will be used for worship and community based activities for the generations to come.

As priest in Charge here the decision was easy to make but difficult to implement if folk sit back and do not fully appreciate the wonderful potential offered to us.

Thankfully we have in our midst those of a like mind with the skills to make it happen. Sven Hebermann at Conservation Letterfrack began by trying to refurbish one of the windows but soon realised that all of the windows needed a lot of very careful attention. These have all been removed, and are about to be re-instated during June. A special Service with Bishop Patrick as celebrant will take place in Moyard on Sunday 17th July. Please put this date in your diary and be there! We use it or stand to lose it.

The next task will be the roof repairs which will involve the replacement of barges and re-leading, the old slates lifted, battened and felted and then re-slated using the old slates. The installation of some form of toilet facilities, the clearing of the whole 3 acre site, and of course the re-decoration after the work is complete.

We have wrestled for months with the decision of whether to go ahead or not, but the Omey Union Select vestry have made their decision and committed to launching an appeal to preserve and renovate St Thomas’s Ballinakill.

I am absolutely thrilled with the overwhelming support of so many in the community. This is not just a church renovation – but a community project committed to renewal. Our Carol Service last year showed that this Union is alive and well and that St Thomas’s has a myriad of supporters.

I will be seeking approval from the Omey Union Select Vestry at our meeting on 27th June for a decision to launch our appeal with an ‘open meeting’ in the locality of a social nature, inviting all of those with St Thomas’s interest at heart to be with us.

What has not always been apparent to me, as I am sure with many others, is that St Thomas’s Ballinakill was the lead church in the area and in 1998 at a specially convened Easter general Vestry of Moyard and Clifden it was proposed and agreed that the Omey Union be formed. Two churches – one united people. working together for the good of the whole. That is what was agreed and we must work to achieve that goal. There will be times when one needs more than the other but we have a joint responsibility – and in Union we can achieve far more than if we divide our efforts.

That Vestry in the Station House agreed that ‘it would be important that everybody clearly understands that this would represent a long term commitment by us all to whatever expenses should arise within either Clifden or Moyard. We move forward together and we shoulder the burdens together’.

‘One Church, One Faith, One Lord’

Summer evenings in Errislannan

Every Sunday evening during July and August there will be Evening Worship at 7.00pm in Holy Trinity, Errislannan. Bishop Patrick will visit on August 7th this year and Archdeacon ‘Little Alan’ Synnott will lead worship on 21st August. So if you engaged in business and cannot worship in the morning – then please do join this committed community at one of the evening services.

Falling from the sky……..

I think this is where we do need prayerful support… as Izzy Marinot-Wood prepares to take to the skies to raise funds for the Spire Appeal. She deserves our fullest support and I would ask that we all help by arranging sponsorship over these coming weeks – please do contact Izzy if you are keen to help in any way – dates to be announced shortly (subject to climatic conditions) – her mobile is 087 269 0806

39th Clifden Arts Festival

This year the Festival runs from 15th to 25th September. As we go to press we have heard the good news that Brendan Flynn, Artistic Director and the driving force of the Festival over the past 39 years is to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts conferred on him by NUIG. We offer Brendan our warmest congratulations.

Art Auction

During the past months Tricia Willder has been engaged with local artists in securing their generous help with the donation of paintings for auctionin aid of the parish. Paintings will be hung in Christ Church during the Festival with the auction taking place at 4.00pm on Friday 23rd September. Please contact your artist friends to ask for a contribution. Sincere thanks go to all who have donated so generously. (086-3527576)

Ballyconneely and Renvyle Graveyards

Plans are in place for both of these graveyards to receive attention over these coming months to enable access to the graves. New gates have been donated for Ballyconneely by Nick Tinne and we hope to have both sites cleared shortly.


Many Congratulations – to Margaret and Stewart Freeman as they celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary on Monday 6th June. Every blessing to them and may they have many more wonderful years together.

Mini-Fete and Blessing of the Animals – from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday 9th July in the church grounds. Come and share in the fun with a special Blessing of the Animals at 3.00pm. In aid of church funds and also the Renvyle Animal Rescue Centre.

Carole Reynolds (087 606 7848) would be delighted to hear from those who may be able to help during the afternoon or donate goods/cakes etc for the various stalls.

Bishop Patrick’s Visit – Bishop Patrick will be celebrant at the service of Holy Communion on Sunday 7th August at 10.00am