THE small Church of Ireland community in Spanish Point has recently completed a €22,000 renovation job on their Christ Church spire. While they received a €10,000 grant to complete the project, church committee spokesperson, Judith Ironside says that without the support of the broader community, the project would not have been possible.
“We’d like to emphasise that the local community has been our mainstay. Everybody has been so supportive. The half a dozen or so of us couldn’t possibly contemplate doing anything without that support. We really do value that community spirit,” Judith told The Clare Champion.
“We had to make a decision about what to do about the spire so we were faced with trying to get a lot of money. Earlier in the year, I saw there was a grant going for heritage buildings. We were lucky enough to get a grant, which made it possible for us to contemplate finding the other 50% to match the grant,” she added.
Judith said sand used to build the church has led to some of the current issues.
“It’s a very small community here. We try to keep everything going but we found a year ago that the spire could well have disintegrated. Sea sand was used in building the church, which was built in 1927. Sea sand was used all around this area and it causes awful problems,” she explained.
The spire is now in full working order although some fundraising efforts are ongoing.
“The spire has been restored and was finished about three weeks ago. We’ve had various campaigns going to pay for this. The first one was prayer ribbons. We called the campaign Aspire. One of the congregation built a wooden prayer spire, to which prayer ribbons were attached. The local community has supported us marvellously. We also commissioned a beautiful handmade quilt, for which we are selling lines for a raffle,” Judith said, adding that a fundraising barbecue will be held on August 13, while a Terry Wilson organised concert is also in the pipeline.
Work on the spire is the latest renovation work carried out on the church in Spanish Point.
“A few years back, we had to do quite a big job to ventilate the church. We also bought a portable cabin, which is our local church hall, and we put in facilities there. That cost us a lot but, again, with the backing of the local community, we managed to pay for that.
“We’re kept alive by everybody’s goodwill around here,” Judith emphasised.