St. Mary’s Church of Ireland Shinrone, 200 years
This is the story of St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, its parishioners, and their contribution to the wider community of Shinrone in 2020. It is also a story of the last two hundred years as the community celebrate the churches bicentenary. The book is a real treasure trove, with a wide range of contributors, a remarkable feat for a small community in rural Offaly.
The book is refreshingly celebratory of the living and the dead, and the vibrant energy which forms the backbone of this community is evident throughout. This is not a history of the community, rather in 2020, a collective memoire and will appeal to a wide readership. A host of themes are delved into including family, friends, faith, social, creative and cultural events. Memories are explored, photographs old and new brought to print, reflections on life shared, parishioners’ contributions recognised and moments in the community’s development celebrated, some stretching back to the 1620’s.
As part of the books research a little-known Mary Lowndes stained glass window, formerly of Ettagh Church, took on new significance. Research identified the Earls of Huntingdon, formerly of Sharavogue House, commissioned the window which depicts St. Patrick in a missionary setting, quite unlike any of Lowndes other works. One of only two intact examples in Ireland by this pioneering stain glass artist, funds from the sale of this book are going towards its conservation and display in St. Mary’s. The community hope to have the window on permanent display early in the New Year, for everyone to appreciate.