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Methodist church looking for a new home

THE Trustees of the Methodist Church in Ireland are looking for planning permission to facilitate a place of worship in Shannon.
The destroyed interior of Christ Church, Shannon, which burned down last year. Photograph by John KellyIn a planning application lodged with Clare County Council they sought permission at No 5, The Grove, for a single storey extension to the rear of the existing Church House and for change of use and refurbishment of the existing outbuilding in the rear garden to church house use also. The permission is to include all associated site services and landscaping.
A letter from Shannon-based Pioneer minister Rosemary Power outlines a discussion that took place between herself and an official in the council’s planning section.
“We spoke of the use of shed for church. I was told a change of use would be looked on sympathetically. The main concerns were about parking. I clarified that we were a very small congregation (currently usually under 10 on Sundays and very rarely over 15 mid-week). Several are local and walk and most share cars. We currently have off-street parking for two to three cars and space alongside for two more if ever needed. There is free public parking outside the front of the house and the SkyCourt car park is across the road so we cannot see this as likely to cause disturbance in the locality.
“I would also point out that the more traditional style of Christian Methodism follows means that noise would not carry, though music is played, usually on the keyboard or with children’s instruments.”
The development would be 260m2 in size and Clare County Council are due to make a decision on the application by January 13, 2012.
The old Christ Church in Drumgeely, which was used by the congregation, was burned down in March of last year.
The church had been a local landmark for over 40 years, having been built as a place of worship for workers from England who had been involved in the construction of the Shannon Industrial estate.
The fire broke out on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 23, 2010, and the fire brigade were alerted to it shortly after 5.30pm.
At the time, Doctor Power said the Methodist Church would continue to meet.
“We have to see what the future holds, but the congregation will continue to meet. Certainly the church will be in need of some work. No one was hurt and we have got a lot of support from other churches and the community.”
Over the last few years, Christ Church Shannon have been meeting in Ss John and Paul’s Catholic Church.
The Church’s members have remained active and are currently planning their annual Christmas fundraising for Christian aid, to assist famine relief in Somalia and the Horn of African.
Recently it organised an ecumenical celebration of the Methodist contribution to Clare. Over 100 people attended an event in Ennis cathedral with the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland.

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