IN 1988 RENOVATIONS WERE CARRIED OUT IN SAINT JOSEPH'S CHURCH, CRAIGBANE - THE DEDICATION OF THE NEW ALTAR AND SOLEMN RE-OPENING OF THE CHURCH TOOK PLACE ON THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT, 29TH NOVEMBER 1998.
THE CEREMONY WAS PERFORMED BY
RETIRED BISHOP OF DERRY - BISHOP SEAMUS HEGARTY DD.
With the aid of funding partly contributed by the Heritage Lottery Fund and through the weekly collection, a parish draw, and very generous donations, work began to restore the church.
Work began in June 1998 and took 5 months to complete. This restorative work consisted of a new natural slated roof, rainwater goods, exterior roughcast rendering and an injected damp course in the walls at floor level.
The exterior sandstone surrounds were cleaned and repaired, with the stained glass re-leaded and glass replaced where damaged. Structural repairs were required in the roof timbers due to rot and woodworm and parts of the transept gallery timbers likewise replaced and all timbers given fungicidal treatment. Much of the internal wall plaster was renewed including some of the decorative cornices and corbels.
Sacristies were reorganised and refurbished and windows and ceilings replaced. The doors and frames were all renewed including ironmongery, although some of the former rimlocks were retained. The predella was extended sufficient to allow better freedom of movement and the reredos containing the tabernacle restored to what it was formerly. New sanctuary furniture was provided with a wooden altar designed to contrast with the original interior character.
Some of the former pews were retained, particularly those which came from the redundant parish church after the erection of its replacement. Older pews were replaced and the steps to the transept galleries widened to allow for more comfortable usage. The old sandstone baptismal font which lay for many years behind the church was revamped, cleaned, its bowl releaded and installed adjacent to the sanctuary, likewise the holy water stoups, which are very early relics. Stations of the cross, crucifix, statues are all replaced, cleaned and repaired where necessary. New carpets were laid on the floors.
Outside the plastering to the bell tower base was renewed, boundary replastered, kerbs and kerb walls repaired and paths relaid with bitumen macadam.
Saint Patrick's Church, 9, Church Street, Claudy BT47 4AA
Saint Joseph's Church, Slieveboy Road, Claudy, Co Derry BT47 4AS