Celebrating heritage at St Cedma’s Church

Patricia Beattie, author of both the History of St Cedma's C hurch, Larne and the Guide to the Church Grounds and Graveyard and  Archdeacon Stephen Forde, rector, of St. Cedma's Church.
Patricia Beattie, author of both the History of St Cedma's C hurch, Larne and the Guide to the Church Grounds and Graveyard and Archdeacon Stephen Forde, rector, of St. Cedma's Church.

European Heritage Open Day will take place at St Cedma’s Church, Larne, on Sunday September 10, from 12.30 pm until 6.00 pm.

Christians have worshipped for nearly 1500 years at St Cedma’s Church, named after “Setna”, father of the famous St Comgall, who was born in 517 AD at nearby Magheramorne, and who founded the famous monastery at Bangor, County Down.

In the 6th century, the Invermore Chapel of the Augustinian Friars, was sited here. Later, in the 15th century, the 3rd Order of Franciscians, made up entirely of laymen and women engaged in hospital work and teaching, was also located here. Part of the present building is Norman in origin, built circa 1350 and on the former monastic site.

A new illustrated guide to the church has been prepared for the open day on September 10. This gives a full description of the many historical and architectural features of the ancient church, including each of the memorable stained glass windows. A new leaflet details a tour around the church grounds with some of the graves in this ancient churchyard.

“Heritage and Nature: a Landscape of Possibilities” is the theme of this year’s European Heritage Open Days.

Specially created for the open day is a new medieval-style medicinal herb and flower garden.

This will display some of the local herbs and plants that would have been used to treat the sick and ailing during the 15th century by the Third Order of Franciscians. The Order was made up entirely of laymen and women engaged in hospital work and teaching, making full use of the plethora of readily available local herbs and flowers for medicinal purposes. Some of these commonly used herbs and flowers are planted in the new raised bed. The new “medieval medicinal garden” has been planted by Patricia Beattie and will contain a variety of herbs and plants used by the Third Order of Franciscians. This year’s theme “Heritage Theme of Gardens” will also be illustrated by a display of handmade quilts.

Admission free. Donations towards refreshments and church guides welcome.