Church of the Sloes

The Church of the Sloes Killarney

St Mary's (Church of Ireland) Killarney, is a beautiful church in the heart of Killarney which serves a small congregation as well as tourists. There is evidence as far back as the 1200s of a Church in this area. More significantly the name of the Town itself Killarney (in Irish: Cill Airne) means Church of the Sloes.

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About Us

The "Church of the Sloes" offers you a warm welcome. Our Church is open to people from any and every Christian tradition or of none. Ourselves? we are Anglican, part of the Church of Ireland.

Calendar

26th 7pm: Ash Wednesday Service
27th 7:30pm: Confirmation Class
28th 6pm: "Jesus Prayer" Liturgy
   7pm: Christian Meditation Group
March
1st 11am: Family Service
5th 7:30pm: Confirmation Class
6th 2-5pm: Church Social (at Rectory)
  6pm: "Jesus Prayer" Liturgy
  7pm: Christian Meditation Group
7th 10-4pm: Marriage Preparation Course
8th 11am: Parish Communion (Sunday School)
   7:30pm: BookClub
9th 7:30pm: Select Vestry Meeting
12th 7:30pm: Confirmation Class
13th 6pm: "Jesus Prayer" Liturgy
   7pm: Christian Meditation Group
   8pm: Concert
15th 11am: Parish Communion
16th 8pm: Concert
17th 7pm: St Patrick's Communion
19th 7:30pm: Confirmation Class
20th 6pm: "Jesus Prayer" Liturgy
   7pm: Christian Meditation Group
22nd 11am: Parish Communion (Sunday School)
24th 8pm: Concert
27th 6pm: "Jesus Prayer" Liturgy
  7pm: Christian Meditation Group
   8pm: Church Social (Rectory)
27-29th Wander Wild Festival
29th 11am: Parish Communion (Sunday School)

Services

1st Sunday
at 11am: Family Service
All other Sundays
at 11am: Parish Communion
(unless otherwise indicated)

2020 Concerts

(E&OE. Dates/details may be altered)

Mar 13 Royal St George College Band
Mar 16 Buena High School Choir
Mar 24 Tri-County HS Band
Apr 03 East Canyon HS Chorale
Apr 04 Robin Jackson Ensemble
Apr 08 Midland Park HS Choir
May 15 David Knight & Killorglin Choir
May 09 Frank Hennessey Welsh Choir
May 15 Aurora University Choir
May 18 Blue Mountain Choir
May 19 1st Methodist Church Choir
Jun 06 New Horizons Band
Jun 08 Credo Adult Choir
Jun 13 Spraoi Chiarraí
Jun 20 Spraoi Chiarraí
Jun 22 Loveland Choral Society
Jun 27 Abbey Travel Choir
Jun 30 Clarion County Festival Choir
Jul 11 Tim O'Shea & Friends
Jul 18 Canadian Celtic Choir
Jul 25 Spraoi Chiarraí
Aug 01 Spraoi Chiarraí
Aug 15 Tim O'Shea & Friends
Aug 18 Addison Women's Choir Canada
Aug 22 Spraoi Chiarraí

Highlights

The Christian Meditation (Kerry Group) annual Retreat is in Tralee on 21 March (see poster).
Also we've been nominated a main charity for this year's Gleneagle Band Charity Concert 28 March. Watch our Facebook page for tickets.

Featured

The Ash Wednesday service is scheduled for 7pm on Wedesday 26th February.
All are welcome to join us as we begin the season of Lent with this special and poignant act of worship and self-awareness.

SERVICES & EVENTS

  • Open daily 09:00-18:00
  • Sunday Service 11:00
  • Cultural events year-round
  • Baptisms, Weddings & Renewal of Vows by appt

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DONATE

International appeal for funds to repair centuries old stained glass windows damaged by vandals.
Read more

Donate here

WEBSITE

Your privacy matters to us
We will be open and transparent about any personal data that we collect about you via our website and other web services we offer.
Who we are:
 * We are the parish of St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) aka the Church of the Sloes
 * We are located at Kenmare Place in Killarney, Co Kerry
 * You can contact us on +353 (0)64 663 1832 or using our info@... email address
PROCESSING
We may process your personal data:
 to respond to a query you might have sent us when you sign up to our newsletter to remember your viewing preferences to manage access to our website for other reasons including:
 * Processing your personal data is necessary to meet our legitimate interests in promoting our services and providing you with necessary information.
 * We will request and obtain your consent to collect personal data such as your name and email address.
  We will retain this personal data in accordance with legislative requirements and in line with our data retention policy.
TRANSFERS
Transfers of data outside the European Economic Area
We do not transfer any personal data outside the European Economic Area unless it is to the Church of Ireland which also operates in Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom.
YOUR RIGHTS
Your rights relating to your personal data.
You have the following rights, subject to certain exemptions, in relation to your personal data:
 * right to access the data
 * right to rectification
 * right to erasure
 * right to restriction of processing or to object to processing
 * right to data portability.
If we are processing personal data based on your consent, you may withdraw that consent at any time.
OUR REQUIREMENTS
Requirement to process personal data.
You may browse our website without providing us with any personal data and this will not affect your ability to view our website. However, if you do not provide us with your personal data we may not be able to respond to you. We do not use any personal data for the purpose of automated decision–making or profiling.
SECURITY
We implement security safeguards designed to protect your personal data.
CONTACT
If you are unhappy with how we process your personal data, we ask you to contact us so that we can assess the situation. You may also lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The Irish supervisory authority is the Data Protection Commission.
UPDDATES
Changes to this policy.
Any changes to this policy will be posted on this website so you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it.

DATA SECURITY

The Select Vestry of the parish of St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney (aka the Church of the Sloes) is the data controller (contact details below).
DATA
We hold the following types of personal data: Contact Details; Family Details; Financial Information (if provided by you); CCTV images; Photographs; Any personal details provided by you in the course of your interaction with us.
USAGE
Why do we hold your personal data? For the day to day running of the Parish; For Contractual Necessity; To meet our legal obligations; In the Public Interest.
FACILITY
Where do we hold your personal data? On our IT Server. In the Parish Office.
MEASURES
What measures have we put in place to keep your data secure? The Parish controls access to all personal data by:
 * Laptops, USB keys, smart phones and other forms of portable device are especially vulnerable to theft and accidental loss so will always be password-protected;
 * Updating software and virus protection on all systems, phones, laptops and portable devices.
 * Passwords on all devices.
 * Controlling access to personal data on a ‘need to know’ basis only.
 * Minimising the amount of personal data held by the Parish.
 * Archiving historical personal data with the Library of the Repesentative Body of the Church of Ireland in Dublin.
 * Introduction of Pseudonymisation.
All data is held in the Parish office in the Rectory; wireless, remote access or cloud storage is not employed.
OBLIGATIONS
Our Legal Obligations. The Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulations 2016 place an obligation on controllers and processors to implement 'appropriate technical and organisational measures' to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk. It suggests the following appropriate measures: the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data; the ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services; the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident; a process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effective of technical and organisational measures for ensuring the security of the processing. The Parish is also obliged to ensure that all those processing personal data on their behalf are aware of security measures and comply with them. 
CONTACT
If you have any queries on data security, please in the first instance contact the Rector by letter to The Rectory, Rookery Close, Killarney, V93 DPC3 or using our info@... email address. You can also contact the Data Protection Commission at: 0761 104 800 or by post at: 21 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2, D02 RD28 or via email at: info@dataprotection.ie.

DATA PROTECTION

We, the Select Vestry of St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney [herein called “the parish”], are committed to protecting the privacy rights of individuals in relation to the processing of their personal data and confer rights on individuals as well as responsibilities on those processing personal data. This policy outlines our approach to compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and all other relevant data protection legislation. This policy is effective as and from 1 January 2020.
SCOPE
The scope of this policy. This policy applies to all personal data created or received in the course of our work in all formats, across all time periods. This may be in paper, physical and electronic formats or communicated verbally in conversation or over the telephone. It applies to all locations where personal data is held by the parish and its data processors.
ROLES & REPSONSINBILITIES
The parish is a data controller. The parish commits to acting in a transparent manner and is responsible for determining the purposes and means of all data processing undertaken by and on behalf of: The Clergy; General Vestry; Select Vestry [aka the Trustees]; Employees, Contractors and volunteers. The Rector is responsible for answering questions in relation to this data protection policy and the parish’s approach to privacy. For any questions about this policy, including any request to exercise legal rights, please contact: the Rector by phone on (064) 663 1832 or using our info@... email address.
DEFINITIONS
Definitions of Personal Data. Personal data is any information that can identify an individual either directly or indirectly in conjunction with other information. This includes a name, location data or a postal address, images or anything relating to the physical, religious or social identity of a person. Special categories of data can only be processed under specific circumstances and appropriate safeguards must be in place to protect this data. The parish may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information and use it for a variety of different purposes. This personal information may include: Address, email address, telephone numbers; Name, date of birth, PPSN, marital status, nationality; Occupation; Information concerning marital and family status; Information on physical or mental health, religious beliefs, criminal convictions / offences; Images from CCTV cameras in and surrounding premises the church building.
PRINCIPLES
Data Protection Principles. The parish is responsible for complying with the following principles. Personal data should be: Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner; Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes only; Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary; Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; Kept in a form which enables identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary; Kept safe and processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data.
LAWFULNESS
Lawfulness of processing. The parish collects and uses personal information for a number of purposes and relies on a number of different legal bases to do this.
To enter into and perform a contract. The parish uses personal information to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between two parties or to take the necessary steps prior to entering into a contract including: To administer employment, financial or legal contracts; To pay for the services professionally provided to us; To provide other services as necessary.
To comply with our legal obligations. The parish is required to process personal information to comply with certain legal obligations which they are subject to including: Providing information to An Garda Siochana, the Revenue Commissioners and other Government bodies or agencies when required to do so by law; To verify personal information and to meet legal and compliance obligations; To carry out a statutory audit/inspection; Where a person has exercised one of their data rights, we will retain a copy of all correspondence to demonstrate our compliance with data protection legislation. Where a person has exercised one of their data rights and asked us not to contact them by email at a particular email address, for example, we will need to retain a copy of that email address in order to comply with the no-contact request.
For legitimate business interests. Where the parish processes personal information for our legitimate interests, the parish will ensure that there is a fair balance between their legitimate interest and the data subject’s fundamental rights and freedoms. The parish may use personal information to manage the day to day running of the parish, including accounting, internal reporting needs, to ensure appropriate IT security and to prevent fraud, in our legitimate interest. Our legitimate interest is the effective management of the administrative functions of the parish. The parish may use personal information to communicate with a data subject, to update them on developments within the parish, diocese or wider Church of Ireland and invite data subjects to events that we feel may be of interest to them. Our legitimate interest is to connect with and update data subjects on services provided by the parish. The parish may process personal information, which includes the processing of special categories of personal data, where processing is carried out in the course of their legitimate activities on condition that the processing relates solely to data subjects who are members, former members or whom have previously been involved with the parish or are an employee and/or contracted staff member. The parish may use personal information to contact people who are in regular contact with them in connection with their purposes. The legitimate interests of the parish do not override a data subject’s interest. A data subject has the right, free of charge, to object to the parish using their personal information for legitimate interests. Objections should be made to the Rector by letter to The Rectory, Rookery Close, Killarney, V93 DPC3 or using our info@... email address.
For the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims. The parish occasionally processes personal information, including sensitive personal information, such as information concerning health, religious or philosophical beliefs, criminal convictions / offences where it is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
Consent. The parish will, in certain circumstances, rely on explicit consent to process personal data, including sensitive personal data. Where we do, the data subject has the right to withdraw their consent at any time by letter to The Rectory, Rookery Close, Killarney, V93 DPC3 or using our info@... email address.
Vital Interest. The parish may, in certain circumstances, use personal data where the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.
Public Interest. The parish may, in certain circumstances, use personal data for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. CCTV is in operation at St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney for security and safety purposes. CCTV notices are on display outside the premise to inform individuals that CCTV is in operation and give advance notice of any recording.
RIGHTS
Rights of data subjects. Data subjects have a number of rights under data protection law in relation to how the parish use their personal information. They have the right, free of charge, to: Request a copy of the personal information the parish hold on the data subject in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format; Rectify any inaccurate personal information the parish hold about the data subject; Withdraw their consent where the parish has relied upon consent to process their information; Request that the parish erase the personal information held about the data subject to certain exceptions; If technically feasible, request to have their personal information transmitted to another data controller in a machine readable format; Restrict processing of their personal information in certain circumstances Object to the parish’s use of their personal information for our legitimate interests; Not be subject to a decision which is based solely on automated processing where the decision significantly affects the data subject; Lodge a complaint with the appropriate data protection authority if the data subject has any concerns about how we process their personal data. These rights are, in some circumstances, limited by data protection legislation. If a data subject wishes to exercise any of these rights please contact the Rector by letter to The Rectory, Rookery Close, Killarney, V93 DPC3 or using our info@... email address. The parish will take measures to verify the identity of the data subject, which will be by reference to copies of acceptable identification documentation. The parish will endeavour to respond to the request within a month. If the parish is unable to deal with the request within a month we may extend this period by a further period of two months and we will provide an explanation for this.
IT
Information Technology and Data Protection. The parish is responsible for implementing appropriate technical and organisational measures to demonstrate that processing is performed in accordance with GDPR.
DATA STORAGE
The parish will retain personal information for as long as needed to fulfil the purposes for which it was collected. The parish will retain and use personal information for no longer than is necessary to comply with accounting, reporting or legal obligations. How long certain information is stored depends on the nature of the information we hold and the purpose for which it is processed.
BREACHES
Managing data breaches. A personal data security breach is any event that has the potential to affect the confidentiality, integrity or availability of personal data held by us in any format. The parish is required to report serious data breaches to the Data Protection Commissioner within 72 hours of becoming aware of the data breach. Where it is determined that the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons, then the supervisory authority will not be notified. Unless it is determined that there is a high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons then the data subject(s) may not be notified. The parish will keep an internal record of the details, the means for deciding there was no risk, who decided there was no risk and the risk rating that was recorded. The parish will respond promptly and appropriately to data security breaches, including all relevant reporting obligations.
SHARING
When and how personal information is shared. The parish may share personal data between the Church of Ireland’s joint data controllers and their respective data processors. The four data controllers are: Representative Church Body & General Synod, Diocesan Council, the Bishops and the parish. The parish may share personal information with third party providers that perform services and functions at their direction and on our behalf, such as accountants, auditors, IT providers, printers, solicitors and providers of security and administrative services. The parish does not sell any personal information and will only share it with third parties who are facilitating the delivery or fulfilment of a service or who are working on behalf of the parish. The parish will contractually require that all suppliers protect such information from unauthorised access, use and disclosure. The parish may transfer personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), especially with the part of the Church of Ireland in Northern Ireland (post-BREXIT). However, these countries do not always afford an equivalent level of privacy protection and in such circumstances the parish will take specific steps, in accordance with data protection law, to protect personal information.
PROCESSORS
Principles to be followed by data processors. A strong data protection culture is essential to advance the mission and ministry of the Church of Ireland. The parish commit to: Understanding their responsibilities in relation to the acquisition, processing and safeguarding of personal data; Adhering to all Data Protection policies and procedures; Adhering to the retention guidelines and committing to keeping personal data to a minimum; Continually assessing the personal data collected and understand any relevant risk associated with this; Informing the Data Protection Representative of any data subject requests; Reporting any concerns or risks to the Data Protection Representative particularly if it is suspected that anyone is being asked to act in a way which is contrary to the data protection regulations Reporting any data breaches to the Data Protection Representative; Treating personal information confidentially and ensure it is locked away at the end of the day; Attending data protection training and refresher events as requested; Assisting the parish to demonstrate compliance during a data protection audit or inspection.

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN

CHILD SAFEGUARDING STATEMENT OF St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney.
St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney is committed to safeguarding children by working under the guidance of our national safeguarding policy Safeguarding Trust and its associated procedures. St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney (incorporating the Muckross Venture Centre) provides religious, educational and recreational activities and services to children under 18 years of age through a range of local services. We acknowledge our duty of care to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and we are committed to ensuring safeguarding practice reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance and complies with best practice. Our clergy, volunteers and staff are committed to creating a safe environment for children to grow and develop. The Safeguarding Trust policy recognises that the welfare and interests of children are paramount in all circumstances. It aims to ensure that regardless of age, ability or disability, race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, all children have a positive and enjoyable experience in a safe and child-centred environment and are protected from abuse whilst participating in church related activities. St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney has conducted a specific written risk assessment and child safeguarding statement in line with: Children First Act 2015; Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998; National Vetting Bureau Act 2012 and 2016 Children First Guidance 2017; Tusla Guidance on Developing a Child Safeguarding Statement. In addition to this service/activity risk assessment the following procedures are in place throughout St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney as part of our safeguarding policies and procedures: Procedures for managing allegations of abuse or misconduct by clergy, volunteers or staff against a child availing of our services; Procedures for the safe recruitment of volunteers or staff to work with children in our services; Procedures to access child safeguarding training, including the identification and reporting of harm; Procedures for reporting child protection and welfare concerns to Statutory Authorities. St Mary’s (Church of Ireland) Killarney recognises that implementation is an on-going process—we are committed to the implementation of this Child Safeguarding Statement and the procedures that support our intention to keep children safe from harm and the risk of harm.
The Relevant Person for this Child Safeguarding Statement is the Rector: the Venerable Simon J Lumby.
This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed at each Annual Meeting of the Select Vestry.

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'THE SLOES'

 Our Church has adopted the name “the Church of the Sloes” because this is commonly taken to be the translation of the name of our town: Killarney.
 There are two theories as to the correct spelling of the Irish form of the town's name: Cill Airne. One has the Irish accent, called a ’síneadh fada‘ [an acute accent], over the á; one does not.
 The following expert opinion was obtained from Dr Pádraig Ó Cearbhaill (Chief Placenames Officer of the Placenames Branch of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht). He states that

"the official spelling, at least, does not have a length accent on the ‘a’, hence Cill Airne ... [and] has been the standard spelling of the placename for more than fifty years now. The question of whether the ‘a’ should be marked with a ’síneadh fada‘ or not is dealt with in the standardised and simplified spelling of Modern Irish, the rules for which were first published in 1945. Prior to that, a vowel preceding a series of consonants such as -rn- and -rd in words, was sometimes marked with a length accent ...(ie áirne in Fr. Dinneen’s Irish-English Dictionary), but written nowadays without an accent"

 The Irish for the berry of the Blackthorn bush—the sloe—is spelt in modern dictionaries without a fada and in older the fada is included; presumably the change was brought about by the above mentioned decision. So following our decision to accept the 'fada' we automatically go with the translation "sloe". We took the plural form "sloes" because it flows better off the tongue and is not so easily confused with other English words that sound the same as "sloe" and would give an entirely unfortunate sense to our level of activity!
 There are two other theories. One is that the word derives from a person's name; supposedly a local saint otherwise unknown to the ancient records. There is no evidence of this and therefore it offers no benefits to us, there being no history of such a person upon which we could build a narrative. (We suggest (elsewhere) that an entirely different saint is connected by the records to Killarney.)
 The other alternative is that the word áirne is translated as ‘ridge’, derived from ára, a word meaning ‘kidney’ or ‘ridge’. This is very hard to accept because there is no distinctive ridge associated with the town; it is on the shore of Loch Lein, to the east of the MacGillycuddy Reeks (Ireland's highest mountains).
 In a book called "County Kerry Past and Present" written by Jeremiah King and published posthumously in 1931 there is an interesting, if somewhat obscure suggestion as to the origin of the name of the town Cill Airne.

"Killarney is not derived from airneadh, the fruit of the sloe [sic] or blackthorn; Cill Airne is the Gaelic name, the cemetery of the Ernans or Iberians, the tuath sen Eran, the Ivernis of Ptolemy, whence Erin, Eire, Ara. Loch Lein inundated an ancient district of Killarney. Airne is the plural of Ara, and Aran is the genetive singular. Tipperary is tiobraid Aran of Ara Cliach. The Dal Araidhe were Ernans, who colonised Ulster and Alban. Aire, or Airu, Erin or Ere, are the same. and Airend is the genetive case of Airin. Erenn is the genetive case of Erin or Ara. In a.m. 3579, Conmael, son of Emer ard ri, fought the battle of loch Lein against the Ernai and Martinei Firbolgs and, against Mogh Ruith, the son of Mofebis of the Firbolgs. Cill Airne burial ground is marked on the 1841 ordnance map in Moyeightragh baile, and derives its name from the tuath sen Eran or Ernans. who ruled Munster in pre-Christian times, and whose descendants still people the province."

 It is hard to follow this logic, especially as in his Irish-English Dictionary which appears at the end of his book he has written "airne, sloe.".

WORSHIP

 We have a main service, usually Holy Communion, at 11am each Sunday (On the first Sunday of every month this is a family service). During the summer season (May-Sep), at 9:30am each Sunday, we have a short service of Holy Communion for visitors. We call this our "Bus Service" because it is especially arranged for those who have booked on the 10:30am coach trip round the famous Ring of Kerry. Other special services, e.g. at Easter and Christmas, are announced on the Church noticeboard and in the media.
 We welcome every visitor to Killarney, to join us at our worship. If it is your tradition and practice to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion in your home church, and you would like to do so with us, you will be warmly received and enjoy a full part in our service. Our only concern is that you feel that God welcomes you to Killarney.
 We have a special place set aside in the South Transept for quiet and private prayer, where you may light a candle for any special concern you have.  It's flame will carry your prayer for you as you continue on your journey. There is also a book in which you can write your prayers, these will be placed on the Altar during Sunday worship.
 The Altar is normally covered with a fabulous embroidered cloth on which is represented the Peacock, an ancient Christian emblem of resurrection.

CONCERTS

 During the tourist season Mar-Oct we offer a series of free evening concerts. These comprise either visiting choirs/orchestras from around the world or local artists. They offer a range of sacred and classical and cultural programmes. Our Church is famous for its wonderful acoustic and musicians are keen to enjoy the beauty of the building. Concerts start at 8pm; concert posters are on our Facebook page (click on Home to select) and our Google Business page (icon below).
 Most especially our Church hosts the highly regarded Sproai Chiarraí concerts each year. These offer local young musicians the chance to give their first public performances and both excite the concert-goer with their amazing musical talents and gain valuable experience in their art.
 We cannot keep the building properly maintained and looking as beautiful as it is without the generous help of our visitors. The concerts are our main source of income because of the generous donations that concert-goers make at the end of the event. We hope you'll agree with us that the building is well worth maintaining for future visitors to enjoy, just as you will when you visit us.
 For some concerts we charge an entrance fee payable at the door 1hr prior. For insurance and safety reasons the church is closed to sight-seers during concerts.
 To book your touring choir/orchestra on our programme please email our concerts@... address.

WEDDINGS AND BAPTISMS

 Perhaps you want to have your wedding in Killarney and one of you has links to the Church of Ireland or its affiliates; contact us to discuss your requirements. Precedence is given to local people and to people having a tangible connection with Killarney. Anyone wishing to marry in our Church must have fulfilled the relevant statutory requirements (see here). We require couples to undertake a one day Marriage Preparation Course here in Killarney in the 3 months prior to the wedding. Fees can range from €800-€1500 depending on additional inclusions eg organist.
 Whilst we recognise that we have a lovely church in a beautiful setting it is not always possible to assent to every request. Weddings in an outdoor setting must honour the dignity of a religious ceremony; we reserve the right to transfer it back to the Church should it rain (which it often does in Co Kerry!). Our priority is always to honour the sacred nature of the ceremony. Our policy can be downloaded here.
 Blessings of civil marriage are available in most cases. We also welcome those who wish to mark a special anniversary with a Renewal of Vows ceremony. In either case you are invited to contact us even at short notice (eg you're on your tour already!).
 If you want yourself and/or your child baptised into the Anglican tradition, enquiries are welcomed.

HISTORY

ANCIENT
 There is evidence as far back as the 1200s of a Church here. The name of the Town itself—Killarney (in Irish: Cill Airne)—means "Church of the Sloes". The Irish word for wood (coill) could easily have been adopted in an altered form to describe the wooden huts the early hermits would have built for themselves. Thus the word "cill" becomes associated with a spiritual place of prayer: ie a church. This suggests that there was an ancient church built in this area and the presence of the Blackthorn tree was significant to the local's and their pre-Christian religion. Blackthorns sometimes grow near wells; and there is a Holy Well just across the road from this Church. It was the habit of the early Christians to claim the spiritual heritage of the local people and morph it into a Christian format. It is the beauty of St Patrick that he understood the inherent spirituality of the Druidic culture into which he was enslaved; so when he turned he could readily use the forms and modes of the former religion and point to their equivalent, their explanation in the Christian religion of union with God.
 [The alternative spelling of the Town's name is thought by some to derive from an obscure local saint whose name comes from the pagan goddess aine in which case folklore gave the saint the attributes of the goddess (as happened with St Brigit).]
 The are is redolent with the scent of early Christian history, particularly: Inisfallen (the island in Loch Leane—Killarney's largest and the lower of the three lakes—named after St Faithlinn and on which a monastery grew and which not only produced the Annals of Inisfallen but also educated the great Irish King Brian Boru); Aghadoe (which is one of the earliest of the local dioceses of the Christian Church); and Muckross Abbey (where the Franscicans established themselves in 1448).
 The area is one of great beauty and of inspiration to both non-Christian and Christian sensitivities.  Indeed all human beings are inspired by the beauty of creation and the creativity of humanity, irrespective of one's spiritual allegiances. This is that same capacity, which we all share, of connecting with God in creation through the beauty of what we see; we experience it in the heart. We are all, at heart, Celtic.

MEDIEVAL
 The take-over of Ireland by the British led to the ascendency of the Church of England in Ireland. The torrid and violent era of foreign rule brought many painful legacies that still percolate society today. The emancipation of Roman Catholics in Ireland signalled a further hardening of positions that can still persist in the minds of some; there is still some mistrust and misguided opinions between Roman Catholics and Protestants. These tragic times run contrary to the core values of love in the Christian tradition. [2016 is the centenary of the Easter Uprising that foreshadowed the final independence of the Irish people. It is to be regretted that the rebellion was ever needed; a lesson to those who wield power against the common good.]
 The establishment of a church on or near the sacred heart of a community is a standard technique in the early era. This then becomes the location of subsequent churches serving the community. Thus the early representative of the Christian faith, set in stone, had an Anglican flavour. Even today most of the ancient churches are curated by the Anglican Church's successor; the Church of Ireland. This legacy of stewardship—of Killarney's Christian heritage—falls to us on behalf of all of Killarney. This heritage belongs to all Christians of whatever flavour, and to all Irish of whatever faith.

MODERN
 The establishment of the Town as a tourism destination by Lord Kenmare in the 1740s marks the beginning of the modern era. This is the modern distinctive of the Town and the area. That Queen Victoria chose to come to visit Killarney and the great estates signifies both a great boon to the Town and its economy but also, arguably, the downfall of the great House on the other side of Kenmare Place from the Church. It was the inability to sustain the estate and its grandeur that precipitated the gift of the estate to the nation. Thus it becomes Ireland's first and greatest National Park. 
 It is not only the natural heritage that makes Killarney a special place to visit. It is also its important Christian heritage that adds value to the experience of every visitor. The Annals of Inisfallen were written (mostly) in the Monastery on the island in the lake here. This current church was built in 1870; on the site of previous churches. It was adorned by the Herberts of Muckross House and houses a fabulous pipe-organ and has a renowned acoustic. It is decorated in a most attractive and unusual stencilled design and has sacred texts written in the high arches. The image above is of the memorial urn erected to commemorate the life and ministry of the Revd Arthur Hyde, 22 years Rector of Killarney. His grandson—Douglas—was elected the first President of Ireland in 1938-45.

CURRENT
 So it is to this backstory that we look for significance and meaning, interpreting the history and story of these parts so as to understand the present and map the future. The Town is renowned for its tourism potential and well visited by vast numbers of people from around the world. This Church is the spiritual successor to this backdrop. This Church of Ireland building is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is located at the heart of the community, situated between the hotel sector and the shopping area. We see visitors everyday from many nations and religions who come to marvel at the church's decoration and adornment.
 Our Church can be found on Kenmare Place, at the bottom of Main Street, opposite the Town Hall and adjacent to the Plaza Hotel and the Jaunting Cars "terminus". The congregation of this church is drawn from those who feel at home with the Anglican form of Christianity. The regulations that require old buildings are maintained to preserve ancient art and craft mean the building is enormously expensive to keep in good repair. As stewards of this responsibility we rely on the help of the community locally, nationally and internationally to keep this building in a fit state for the future.

CULTURAL
 Our duty as a Church is to show the love of God to all and to maintain the legacy of memorial granted us by the past. In order to do this we have capitalised on the interest shown in our building by tourists and locals alike. Part of our mission is to offer an insight into the presence of God in all of creation, and in this particular locale, by making connections and links for people. That is why, as a service to the Town and people of Killarney, we are placing the spiritual significance of the Town's name centre-stage.
 So on behalf of all the people and commerce of Killarney—past, present and future—we have branded our building "The Church of the Sloes". Our intention is to represent the whole Town in presenting the spiritual backdrop of our presence in this land-scape thus giving added value to the visitor's experience, highlighting the God-given spiritual essence of brick and branch, of window and water, of flesh and foliage.

RECTORS
 Despite there being records of churches before the 17th Century we have no data on the names of earlier Rectors. This is the list from then onwards. You will see memorials and references to some of them around our Church.
1611 Israel Taylor
1615 Thomas Webb
1620 Henry Norris
1622 Henry Barham
1664 Humphrey Whittington
1675 Robert Wilson
1684 John Turner
1693 James Bland (Archdeacon in 1705)
1728 Francis Bland
1752 James Bland
1785 Marcus Monck
1789 Edward Herbert (Archdeacon in 1789)
1809 Arthur Hyde
1834 Edward Herbert
1879 Gerald de Courcey Meade
1880 George Robert Wynne (Archdeacon in 1885)
1904 Joseph Douglas Madden
1924 Robert Philip Rowan (Archdeacon in 1941)
1944 George Maxwell (Archdeacon in 1944)
1952 Maurice John Talbot
1954 Cecil George Fox
1965 David Kaye Lee Earl
1979 Brian FB Lougheed
2004 Stanley Evans
2006 Margaret Hemphill
2007 Susan Watterson
2014 Simon John Lumby (Archdeacon in 2016)

PROJECTS

WINDOWS
 In January 2015 there was a large public outcry when the Town heard that an act of drunken vandalism had destroyed one of the stained glass windows in this beautiful church. The damaged window was of the Nativity of Christ; it is the first of 3 pairs of windows in the Sanctuary of the Church. The very high cost of restoring such windows is due to the fact that the old skills that made the window are not common today and much work is required to get the pigments and firings correct to match the original in tone and style as closely as possible.
 By the end of 2015 the severely damaged stained glass window of the Nativity was restored to a very high standard.  It is virtually impossible to tell it's not the original. Thank you to all whose donations made this possible. We continue with the work of restoring the remaining windows.
 The protective glazing which was installed some 30-40 years ago is not strong enough to protect against the extreme violence used on this occasion. A subsequent inspection of all the stained glass windows has revealed that many of the windows are warping. This is because the old protective glazing was sealed; just like double-glazing. The temperature between the glazing and the stained glass window soars and the lead—that holds the stained glass in position—softens. Many of our windows are sagging and in danger of collapsing. Therefore a funding appeal was launched to raise €50,000 to replace the protective glazing with stronger laminate glass and include ventilation, and to restore the warped stained glass panels.
 If you're planning to come to Killarney and want to visit our Church to admire these windows, or if you've been before and remember being wowed by them, please make a donation on the link below. We're very grateful for the generosity of our visitors as without that we couldn't keep this building in good repair for future visitors and generations to come.

"DONATE HERE : Windows of Heaven Appeal"

RAILINGS
 When this Church was built in the 1870s the layout of the local area was similar to that which you will see today. The old Killarney House extended much further; what you now see was the old Stables of the much bigger house. In this context was set the iron railings around the edge of the churchyard, marking the boundary with the road now called Kenmare Place. These iron railings have survived for over a century. A few years ago there was a vehicle crashed into the railings, partly demolishing a section on the corner opposite the Plaza Hotel. This was repaired. It then became obvious that the rest of the railings were in a very parlous state, rusted and broken and looking very shabby. However, the Church did not have the means to fix them. Indeed the restoration of the stained glass windows became our main focus.
 So late in 2015 the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and the Killarney Looking Good Committee approached the Church with a proposal that a joint effort be made to restore the railings in time for St Patrick's Day 2016. This meant raising donations and materiel support in excess of €80,000 in the space of 4 months. Many local companies and individuals donated equipment, construction and ironworking skills to the project and others donated monies. The project was completed success-fully ahead of schedule and to much popular acclaim. The grateful thanks of the community and the visitor alike are freely given to all whose generosity and hard work made the project a resounding community success. Without this community support the restoration of these antique railings could not have been achieved.

OTHERS
 In the summer of 2016 two small projects were undertaken, designed to enhance the appearance and comfort of the church.
 All the pews were given high quality and comfortable cushions. The fabric was provided by Kerry Woollen Mills. The fundraising for these Pew Cushions was given the innovative and tongue-in-cheek title "Phew! Cushions".
 The lighting in the Church had been high energy floodlights; they regularly failed and were not efficient. So, from Church funds we have installed LED low energy flood-lighting. The ambience of the Church is now much warmer and light due to this upgrade. Further improvements will be introduced in the future in the way certain features of architecture and decoration are lit.
 The next upgrade will be to the sound system, to make it more adaptable for use in concerts and weddings and for general daily use and worship. More modern technology is now available that will assist in the development. This will also facilitate, with the new broadband link, the ability to stream services and install web cams. Currently the Church is secured with the use of CCTV cameras.

OUTREACH

 The location of this Church, at the heart of the Town, relates the centuries-old spiritual heritage of Killarney to the modern community in a way that transcends the historical differences between different church traditions. Therefore, this Church represents the spiritual heritage of all the church traditions resident in this vibrant community and indeed the pre-Christian tradition of this land, without which Celtic Christianity could not have flourished.
The picture is of the Sam McGuire Cup which Kerry GAA team won in 2014 and which was welcomed into our Church on Easter Day 2015.

Ministry to Visitors
 Two particular innovations that relate closely to the fact that this Church is between the hotel sector and the shopping sector of Town are the "Prayer Corner" and the summer season service of Holy Communion for visitors, known as the "Bus Service".
The introduction of a high quality stand for candles in the side aisle was aimed to provide visitors with the space to sit quietly in prayer in a manner they might do at home, where the lighting of candles as tokens of prayer is widely used. We find that our Church is treated by Catholics and Protestants alike as if it were their own. So the lighting of prayer candles is a vital part of our making space and honouring the traditions of our many visitors. This tradition is not widely practiced in the Church of Ireland. It is in this way we welcome you, the visitor, to share a spiritual moment with us on your journey through the fabulous landscape and heritage of Kerry.
The establishment of a short service of Holy Communion at 9:30am on Sundays during the summer season is specifically for the visitor who is only in Killarney for the weekend and must maximise their experience with a trip on the Coach Tour of the famous "Ring of Kerry"; the coach leaves from outside the Church at 10:30am. So having had a good Irish breakfast the visitor can avail of the chance to share in sacred fellowship with God and others and still have time to climb aboard the Ring Tour Bus. This is why we call this short half hour service the "Bus Service". In this way we hope to engender a subliminal awareness of God's presence both in the landscape and in the heart of the visitor on the coach.

Ministry to the Community
 The major development initiative of our church, which has built upon the decade of experience of hosting free concerts for the visitor and resident alike (join us on your visit and experience the fabulous acoustic of our beautifully decorated church) is the "Spiritual Tourism" project. To start with we launched our tourism brand with the logo—featuring our porch door and a Blackthorn tree—and adopting the spiritual name of the Town—Church of the Sloes—that is the sloe berry which comes from the Blackthorn tree. In this way we can operate alongside the other tourism destination attractions matching their quality with the excellence of our own publicity. With this as our baseline we intend to build the "Spiritual Tourism" project as a way of helping the visitor to access that very same inner capacity to sense God in the landscape and in the moment, just as the early Celts did before and after the days of St Patrick. Ever wonder what that feeling is that you have in your heart when you're inspired or excited by something you see or hear or experience? Well that is a communication with the divine; a resonance with the spiritual in the ordinary. It is the stuff of every day in the tourist journey. We intend to make this explicit in the minds of visitors and residents and not just a feeling in their hearts.
You're touching God; you're being Celtic; this is what being Christian is about.

TOURS

 The church offers occasional tours on Saturdays in the summer season (May-Sep). Come and see the vibrant stained glass windows of our Church. The windows are mostly from a single studio of William Wailes, in the Northeast of England, and dated to the 1880s. There is also a modern stained glass window in the South Transept created by Ildanach Studio of Boherbue, Co. Cork.
 One notable and rare stained glass window is a copy of Holman Hunt's "The Light of the World" painting. Another is thought to be the likeness of a young woman, in whose honour a window is dedicated; she's the daughter of Jane, the Countess of Bantry (formerly a Herbert of Muckross House). We also have a memorial urn to a former Rector of this Church who is the grandfather of the first President of Ireland. Some memorials date to earlier churches on this site. The image above is dedicated to Charlotte Wynne in 1881; she's the daughter of another former Rector of this Church.
 The stained glass windows, along with the pipe-organ and the decoration are a must-see attraction in our Town. You should allocate an hour to savour the wonders of this church’s decoration and ponder its windows. Whether you're here during the week or manage to time it so you can join our tours on Saturdays; you'll be pleased you gave time to it.

GENEALOGY

The Church of Ireland archives are held in Dublin and any enquiries should be made first following the advice given on their website here. Researchers must avail of the guidance given here as there will be costs incurred by your research. Altogether 6 volumes of Killarney's parish registers, comprising baptisms 1782-1880, marriages 1784- 1845 & burials 1783-1880, were destroyed in the fire in the Public Record Office of Ireland in Dublin in 1922. There are no indexes for those dates. Records relating to 1883-1915 are held in the Dublin Church Archive.

For records pertaining to County Kerry as a whole, please consult My Kerry Ancestors.

If you seek detailed searches of current registers, for the purposes of obtaining replacement certificates, you should contact us here to ascertain the current fee. A brief check will be made of the index to ensure there is a valid record; certificates will be issued on receipt of the appropriate fee.

For those who've had a service of Baptism for their child in our church and require a certificate for the purposes of registering your child for confirmation please contact us here.

MUCKROSS

 Our Church in Muckross has been converted into a Venture Centre for youth and/or adult groups of upto 42 people in bunk-bed dormitories. The church remains in use as a place of worship at special times of the year. The Centre is often booked by adult groups on training and educational trips or doing outdoor team building. Groups should supply their own projection equipment if required.
 For bookings click and download here.
 The four Ground Floor Dormitories comprise 1x3 bunks; 2x4 bunks and 1x9 bunks respectively. The two first floor dormitories comprise 4 bunks and 18 bunks respectively. There are five showers downstairs. There is a fully fitted kitchen and a large communal dining area that doubles as the group social and work area. There is ample parking at the side and rear of the building, plus grassed areas for group activities and games.
 The Centre is ideally placed on the Muckross Road for easy access to the main entrance to Killarney National Park (with the famous Muckross House and gardens which are well-worth visiting). Further south is access to Kenmare and the southern part of the Ring of Kerry. Travelling north through Killarney brings you to the northern part of the Ring of Kerry and Killorglin, with routes onto the Dingle Peninsula and to Tralee. There is a wealth of local things for a youth group or outward bound group to engage in. Alternatively you can use the grounds for your activities/training whilst enjoy the spectacular setting of Ireland's premier National Park.

Contact

Kenmare Place, Killarney
Co.Kerry, Ireland, V93 CD00


Phone: +353 (0)64 663 1832
(click Contact tab to send email enquiry)

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