Northern Ireland news

Historic Strabane church celebrates 125th anniversary

The Church of the Immaculate Conception is celebrating its 125th anniversary.
Seamus McKinney

A HISTORIC monstrance is one of a number of artefacts which has gone on permanent display at a Strabane church to mark its 125th anniversary.

Derry and Strabane mayor Brian Tierney visited the Church of the Immaculate Conception for a special blessing by parish priest Fr Declan Boland to celebrate the historic milestone. Built in 1895, the church has undergone a £375,000 renovation.

A number of artefacts from the church have also gone on display, including the monstrance, which is used to hold the Eucharist.

Fr Boland said the people of Strabane took great pride in the church.

“Since 1895, generations of our people have worshipped here and have found peace and consolation in God's presence,” he said.

The priest said the extensive renovations carried out, with the help of a National Lottery grant, would ensure the many artefacts and features of the church would be professionally placed on display.

“The people of the parish are justifiably proud of all of this and are supporting us in every way possible. I am deeply humbled and so very proud of all our parishioners,” he said.

Mr Tierney said the church was one of the most iconic buildings in Strabane.

“It is a beautiful building and this week we have the opportunity to celebrate its place in the history of the area and in the lives of the parishioners who have cared for it so diligently over the years,” he said.

Curator of Derry's Tower Museum Roisin Doherty said the Church of the Immaculate Conception was all the more remarkable as it was built with parishioners' money despite the poverty of the time.

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