|Sunday - 19 May 2013||Ard Easmuinn, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland|
|What did the Work Entail?|
A word from The Administrator
*Taken from the Dedication Booklet 1st October, 2006
Today the Church celebrates ‘Day for Life’ which, through the pastoral letter, is bringing to our attention the sanctity of life. The sanctity of life is enhanced by the Spirit of welcome a person or persons receives from others .
This Spirit of welcome has been to the forefront of all those who have been engaged in the process of initiating and implementing the renovation work to the Church of the Holy Redeemer.
Through the gentle guidance, knowledge and expertise of Mr David Sheehan and all in their respective professions, an atmosphere of warmth and welcome has unfolded in the new décor of our Church. May our Church continue to enlighten us in a Spirit of private and public worship.
As one respects the past, lives in the present and looks forward to the future, may we all be proud of our Church of the Holy Redeemer. I acknowledge the privilege to have been engaged with parishioners and friends, and all who were involved in the renovation work, to enhance our Church.
The Architect's View:
In considering the refurbishment of the church, an analysis of its’ present state was carried out with Fr. Keenan and the Parish Council in 2005.
The essential layout or design of the church had not changed since its’ original construction. Like any building, over time, its’ success or failure in functional terms becomes more evident. This was particularly so in such areas as the celebration of the sacrament of baptism, the location of the stations of the cross and in particular the remoteness and coldness of the sanctuary area. The artificial lighting was very poor; the original concept had not changed and this, combined with the very strong presence of the stained glass, tended to give a gloomy feel to the interior of the church.
This was a very finely conceived space in its’ original form. However, the ceiling height of approximately 20 metres made it excessively cold and draughty and thus very uncomfortable for the celebrant and other users. However, the separate elements of the sanctuary, such as the stone wall back-drop incorporating the carved apostle frieze and crucifix, the tabernacle, the altar, the ambo and the chair were all very fine, having been specially commissioned from artists at the time.
It was decided to retain all of these elements but introduce a new lower ceiling at a sufficient height so as not to be noticeable from the main body of the church.
The sanctuary floor was extended outwards into the body of the building, approximately two metres all round and the altar, ambo and chair moved out accordingly. One aspect of the sanctuary that the architect noticed on his first inspection was the use of banners on the stone wall above the apostle frieze. This gave the idea to introduce a pair of tapestries to be located in this area and which would incorporate texts from both Old and New Testaments.
For this purpose two artists were commissioned; Gillian Freedman, a weaver, and Liz Nillson, a textile and graphic designer, both very accomplished in their field. This has resulted in two very large works; the panels of tapestry representing the paths or rivers of life itself, in an abstract design, while the writing, printed on linen, gives the message of scripture.
B) Baptismal Font:
The position of the font in the Entrance Vestibule, while liturgically correct, was in practice very unaccommodating to family groups. It was decided to have a new font designed and located within the body of the church so as to allow family members space and comfort. The font itself is symbolic of the beginning of life; its materials echo those already in use in the church. It was made by Knut Klimmek and Eugene Roe, craftsmen in wood and stone respectively.Footnote: The old font has been retained in its original location in respect to the early concept of this building.
C) Stations of the Cross:
The original abstract stations in ironwork are located on the external wall of the building. They have been retained but were found to be impractical for general use. A new set of stations was obtained a number of years ago so that parishioners could perform the ritual inside the body of the church. It was felt however, their visibility was reduced greatly, given the large scale of the building and their lack of a proper setting. It was decided to commission a set of frames or settings for each station from Knut Klimmek, a furniture designer, to be located on the flanking walls to the left and right of the Sanctuary area. This gives a presence to the stations for the purpose of contemplation and prayer.
D) General Refurbishment and Lighting:
The condition of the fabric of the building and its attendant electrical wiring all required upgrading. For this purpose the contractor Patsy Martin and his team provided the wherewithal to carry out all the refurbishment works, including the new draft lobby in the vestibule, the new ceiling and extension to the Sanctuary and numerous other works. P.J. Loughran and his team carried out the re-wiring including a smoke detection and fire alarm system. Particular attention was given to the upgrade of the lighting and making the interior of the church more usable and welcoming.
E) Design and Project Management:
Sheehan & Barry Architects (David Sheehan and Lukasz Rosik) worked as design consultants on the project with Deirdre Kerr as project manager. Many others, too numerous to mention, provided assistance and encouragement to the team. Without their help and goodwill this project would not have achieved the objectives set out from the beginning.
We express gratitude to:
Most Rev. Sean Brady, DCL.
We will remember you frequently in our Liturgical celebrations in this Church of the Holy Redeemer.