The 150th Anniversary of St. Matthew’s Church, Aughadown in Ballydehob Union was marked with a United Service of Celebration held last Sunday, 13th August, at which the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton officiated alongside the Rev. Stephen McCann, Rector of Ballydehob Union. The congregation included parishioners from Ballydehob Union and the wider Church of Ireland community, and a large number present included parishioners from the neighbouring Roman Catholic churches at Lisheen, Church Cross and Ballydehob among others, and parishioners from other denominations.
In his Anniversary Sermon, Bishop Colton drew on diocesan records and other church memorabilia dating back to the building and consecration of the church 150 years ago. Regaling those present with stories and remembrances, delivered in what one of those present said was ‘his unique and endearing brand of informality and good humour’, the Bishop underlined the important position that St. Matthew’s Church and the Ballydehob Union hold within the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.
Amongst other speakers, whose contributions helped give life to the church’s long history, was Tadgh O’Donovan who spoke of St. Matthew’s earliest days. His talk was enhanced by an engraved silver trowel from his possessions, which was engraved to commemorate the laying of the church’s foundation stone by his great-grandfather. Deidre Pemberton talked about her great-grandfather, who was a well-known Dublin contractor of the period and who had been commissioned to built St. Matthew’s Church. Other speakers included the historian Willian Casey, parishioner Lucy Perrott, the Rev. Tom Kingston and guest organist Padraig O’Donovan.
Thanking all present for their attendance, the Rev. McCann was gracious in his praise of all involved in preparing the church and its surroundings in advance of the event and in making the detailed arrangements that led to its success. Following the service refreshments were served providing an opportunity for those present to mingle and share their recollections.