Larne Tuesday group visit twin cathedrals

The final event for the 2014/15 programme for Larne Tuesday Group was an outing to Armagh on Tuesday, June 23.

In all, 43 people travelled by coach to this lovely city on a glorious summer day.

The first visit was to the Church of Ireland Cathedral of St Patrick where the Dean, The Very Reverend Gregory Dunstan, greeted all with a welcome and prayer and then handed over to guide Leigh Vage, who provided a detailed and occasionally humorous summary of the cathedral’s history.

The cathedral stands on the site where Patrick built his first stone church in the year 445.

On the day of the visit the sunlight streamed through the glorious stained glass windows, providing a mystical light in which to view the magnificent interior.

Some of the group visited the cathedral vaults, which are lit and filled with interesting documentation as well as stone gargoyles, carvings and figures found around the site.

The Tuesday group then travelled to the Roman Catholic twin-spired Cathedral of St Patrick, located on the other hill of Armagh. There, the guide was Jack O’Hare, who not only outlined the history of this building but also provided a background to the effect of the Reformation on the city.

Time was all too short to do justice and see all the many wonderful works of art found on the sanctuary ceiling, the Blessed Virgin Chapel and the mosaic-covered walls, with interlaced designs taken from the Book of Kells.

One of the many stained glass windows depicts, in two of its upper roundels, the two cathedrals of St Patrick and it is in this spirit that currently both cathedrals work in partnership.

The visit to Armagh ended with an excellent lunch in the City Hotel.

Travelling home to Larne, a short shopping trip was made to the Rushmere shopping centre, Craigavon.

This was a most enjoyable end to an interesting season of meetings.

The 2015/16 year commences on Tuesday, September 15 in Drumalis, with refreshments at 10.30am. All are welcome.