St. Macartin's Cathedral

The Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland

In a talk delivered by our Bishop, John McDowell on
Tuesday 19th February at 7.30pm in St Macartin’s Cathedral, Enniskillen, a number of aspects and the process and outcome of disestablishment which have shaped and still shape the Church of Ireland nearly 150 years on will be looked at.


There are two classes in February:  Monday 4th and Monday 11th February, from 6.30 to 7.30 pm in the Upper Room.
There is a break on Monday 18th for Half Term.

Remember that Xplore on Monday 25th February is part of your Confirmation preparation!

The Service of Confirmation will be on
Sunday 19th May at 7.00pm led by Bishop John McDowell. Confirmation rehearsal is on Sunday 12th May at 7.00.

Confirmation is much more than a formality. It involves making promises to God to follow Christ as an adult member of the Church.  This is why we devote several months to preparation.  It is really important to attend all classes, as well as Xplore nights and regular church services. There is no logical sense in being confirmed if you are not a regular attendee at church!

Two major concerts.

Please see the main page of this website for details of the cathedral concerts taking place in February and in March.

Famous Hymn Writers

On Sunday 17th February at 11.00am, our guest preacher will be Rev Canon Desmond Kingston MA, who will speak about Henry Francis Lyte who attended Portora Royal School and is famous for authoring the hymns, 'Praise my Soul the King of Heaven' and 'Abide with Me'. Canon Kingston is the former Chaplain of Portora Royal School and a former Canon of this Cathedral.

Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander Exhibition and Service: Mrs Cecil Frances Alexander, hymn writer and poet was wife of William Alexander who was Bishop of Derry and who became Archbishop of Armagh. An exhibition featuring her work will be held on Saturday 9th March from 11.00am - 4.00am  and on Sunday 10th March from 2.00pm - 8.00pm  At the morning service at 11.00am and evening service at 7.00pm on the latter day, Mrs Alexander’s famous hymns - 'Once in Royal David’s City', 'There is a Green Hill Far Away' and  'All Things Bright and Beautiful' will be sung.

World Thinking Day

World Thinking Day is a celebration worldwide that has taken place on every 22 February since 1926. It remains a day for all Guides and Scouts to think of each other and celebrate their sisters and brothers all around the world. The 22nd February was chosen as it was the birthday of Scouting and Guiding founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell and of Lady Olave Baden-Powel, his wife and World Chief Guide. In 1999, at the 30th World Conference, held in Ireland, the name was changed from "Thinking Day" to "World Thinking Day", in order to emphasize the global aspect of this special day.
Our Guiding and Scouting organisations will be playing a special part in our
Family Service on Sunday 24th February at 11.00am - please come and show your support. Hopefully it will attract more young folk to join and adults to offer to become leaders or helpers!

Cathedral History

Sam Morrow would like it generally known that it is proposed to produce a detailed illustrated history of Enniskillen Parish and St Macartin’s Cathedral. In order to create interest, the inclusion of photographs will be most important. This is an appeal to parishioners and those associated with the cathedral for photographs of people and events associated with the church and its organisations over the past centuries. Photographs considered to be of interest in relation to cathedral and its people should be given to Mrs Rennick in the cathedral office where details will be recorded. After scanning, the photographs will be returned to their owners.

Cathedral Roof

Parishioners will be aware that the roof of the cathedral, which is a Grade A listed building, has been giving rise to problems in recent years. There is the very obvious damage to the plasterwork in the south west corner of the nave beside the Pokrich stone, which has been caused by ingress of rain water. Slates are constantly falling off which may allow rain water to enter the roof space. Falling slates also give rise to serious health and safety risks which may cause personal injury. In stormy conditions, the slates can be observed moving on the roof. A preliminary survey has been carried out which has confirmed the worst fears. Major expenditure will be required on the roof. A recent investigation has indicated a woodworm infestation which may require the replacement of some of the roof timbers.

The last major expenditure on the cathedral roof was in 1960 when a re-roofing project was undertaken. It is not surprising therefore that, after a period of 57 years, major works are once again required. This will be an expensive project which will involve elaborate scaffolding. Slates will have to be removed and stored carefully, damaged timber will need replacement, other timbers will require treatment, and insulation will need to be upgraded. Slates will then have to be replaced using durable nails. The opportunity will also be taken to replace damaged stonework and faulty gutters, downpipes and lead valleys. It is most likely that internal redecoration of the cathedral will be required when the roof project is complete.

It is difficult to estimate the cost of the work at this stage other than to say that it will be substantial. Professionals will need to be employed to carry out detailed surveys and prepare specifications for the work to be undertaken. Only then will it be possible to estimate costs accurately.
The possibility of obtaining grant aid or other financial support will be explored fully. If grant aid is obtainable, then the procedures laid down by the funding bodies will have to be followed rigidly. In the meantime, we can be sure that substantial financial support from parishioners will be needed to enable the essential work on the cathedral roof to be carried out. A major effort will be required to raise the necessary funds for this vital work.

Old Pound Coins

The old one pound coin has gone out of circulation. Many of you will still have some in your pockets or purses! The bank will still accept, them but rather than make a trip there, you could if you wish, donate them to the Cathedral Fabric Fund. A glass jar is available in the Cathedral Porch to make your donation which will be very much appreciated.


Over the summer, we have given the old crèche room a make-over.  We’ve got new furniture, toys, a dressing up box, baby changing facilities and more. The PrayGround is NOT there to keep little ones out of earshot!  We love having babies and toddlers in the service with us.  We honestly don’t mind a bit of noise – in fact, ‘if there’s nobody crying, the church is dying!’ The PrayGround is there to make it as easy as possible for families with small children to attend church together. Feel free to come and go as you need.  You can follow the service over the speaker, and make it to Holy Communion. For children too young to attend Sunday Lights, or occasional little visitors not registered for Sunday Lights, activity bags are available from the porch on your way in. They contain colouring, reading and other material to keep younger members occupied.

The Car Park

An extended car park, accommodating an additional 30 cars, is an extremely valuable addition in the island town of Enniskillen where parking space is at a premium. Access to the car park is limited to those who are authorised to use it - otherwise it would become a free public car park. Entry and exit from the car park is controlled by barriers. The access barrier is activated by car users who possess an activation fob. The issue of these fobs is being carefully controlled and is only be available to parishioners and others authorised by the select vestry. There is be a £25 charge (£250 for non-members) for each fob (renewable yearly) which not only reflects its cost but also includes an allowance to cover anticipated maintenance. The car park barriers are open for all regular church services, including weddings and funerals. It is also open in the evenings to accommodate the many organisations which use the facilities for evening events.

Cathedral Garden of Remembrance

With the increased number of people choosing cremation, St Macartin’s Cathedral needed to make provision for the burial of ashes in the Cathedral grounds. A Garden of Remembrance at the back of the Cathedral has been created and was dedicated by the Bishop on Sunday 17th September after the morning service. You can see a memorial stone there on which will be engraved names of committals and also  a summer seat for relatives to have a private and quiet area in which to remember. This may be of particular interest to certain parishioners who may be willing to help finance this project. It may also be of interest to former Cathedral parishioners who have moved away from the area (maybe overseas and large cities where cremations are more common) and may want the Cathedral grounds to be the resting place for their ashes. Please make this widely known and donations would be gratefully received towards this project - ‘The Cathedral Garden of Remembrance Fund'.

Thursday Morning Services

We hold these services generally every week throughout the year (30ish minutes), followed by a cup of tea/coffee and rather sinful biscuits! There are now up to 30-40 attending each week.  We are encouraging parishioners who may be in Enniskillen shopping on Thursday mornings to drop in for this short service - a mid- week pause and praise with God!


Family Care Adoption Services is presently seeking to recruit adoptive families for babies and young children. For a free information pack, please contact it on 028 71368592 or 028 90691133, Monday to Friday 9am-1pm, or e-mail

Donations in lieu of flowers

The Church can benefit greatly from donations made in lieu of flowers at the time of a death or the anniversary of a death. Please keep this in mind, and we acknowledge with grateful thanks all who have contributed in this way in the past.

"Our Daily Bread" Bible Reading Notes

Each Sunday all three readings from the Revised Common Lectionary are printed on a Parish Bulletin. The Psalm and Collect are also listed. Make sure you get this sheet each week (If for some reason you are not out - get someone to take one for you). Please keep it and use one of the readings or psalm each day throughout the week with your private prayers.

Copies of Our Daily Bread (Bible Reading Notes) are available free of charge at the back of the church. Please take one and you will find an order form included so that you can order them and have them sent directly by post to your own home. These will make the reading of the Bible easy, enjoyable, interesting and relevant to every day life.

‘ Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path’ Psalm 119

Presentation Hymnals

Presentation editions of the Church Hymnal are an ideal gift for confirmations or for special seasons in the Church calendar, including Christmas. Bound in soft burgundy leather cover and with gilded pages, it contains over 700 hymns - but the light pages ensure that the book itself is not overly bulky. The edition is now on sale for the reduced price of £10 until next Easter. It is an offer not to be missed!



Pilgrim, our adult formation course, begins again in February. We meet from 7.30 - 9.00pm in the Devenish Room. New members are always welcome!
Dates for the ‘Spring Term’ are:

Tuesday 5th February
Tuesday 19th February - Pilgrim attends the Bishop’s talk on Disestablishment
Tuesday 5th March
Tuesday 19th March
Tuesday 2nd April

No meeting during Holy Week but you are encouraged to attend the Holy Week Service at 7.30pm.

Choir Practice

This takes place on alternate Wednesday evenings in the Cathedral commencing at 7.30pm.
New choir members are most welcome, currently tenor or bass singers would be particularly encouraged to consider joining. Please contact Glenn or Jayne to find out the date of the next practice.


This continues every week from around 11.20am when members leave the main morning service at which all are expected to attend.

Messy Church

Messy Church is for pre-schoolers and primary-aged children and their families or carers. We meet on the third Thursday of the month, 2-4 pm, in the Cathedral Halls.

Messy Church is one of our key ministries to children and families. It does "just what it says on the tin". lt's Church, so we meet together  and worship God through Bible stories and songs. And it's messy! There‘s always glue and glitter, food and fun. Messy Church is open to all children of primary school age (but younger children are also welcome) and their parents and guardians.
The rule is: no child without an adult, and no adult without a child.

Even if you’ve never been before, even if you or your children aren't parishioners of the Cathedral, you are very welcome to join us. Messy Church takes place on the third Thursday of each month. However, this will require more helpers!
Could you help with:
Music and singing
Crafts and activities
Basic food preparation and serving
If so, please e-mail Rev Chris at
. If you have special requirements such as accessibility and would like to let us know beforehand, Rev Chris is your man!

We celebrated Jesus’ birthday on 20th December, with a special Christmas Messy Church. We took a break in January, and are back on February 21st from 4.00-6.00pm.

More dates for Messy Fun:
21st March
April - no Messy Church (Easter Holiday)
16th May


Bell Ringers

Fewer than a dozen parish churches in Northern lreland have towers with peals of eight or more bells where campanologists can exercise their skill. Enniskillen is one of these, and the peal of ten bells is rung in changes each Sunday and on special occasions. Practice takes place Thursdays 7.00-8.00pm and new ringers will be warmly welcomed to send out the call to worship on Sunday!


Crèche facilities are available during the main Sunday morning service. Parents of babies and children who are not of Sunday School age are welcome to leave their little ones in the Parish crèche and be confident in the knowledge that they will be safe and well looked after by a team of volunteers who have been trained under the Church of Ireland‘s Safeguarding Trust Policy. If you can help with the crèche, on a rota basis, please put your name on the list in the porch.

Tuesday Club (for our members over the age of sixty - meeting on the last Tuesday of the month - 2 - 4pm).

Dean Hall opened the November meeting with prayer and a Bible reading. Group Leader Eleanor extended a warm welcome to all in attendance Guest speaker was Mrs Ann Rowley. Ann shared her craft talents with us and we all produced a little Christmas tree decoration under her guidance. Much fun was had in the process. The meeting concluded with afternoon tea. The January meeting was a game of 'bocce' organised by Jack Spratt.

The next meeting will be held on
26th February at 2.00pm and is a talk on ‘Living with Dementia.’

All enquiries about Tuesday Club in general  (including transport), please, to Eleanor Lynn (66324603).

Bowling Club

This meets on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am to 12.00 noon and Wednesday evenings 7.30 to 10.00pm. The club is in Section D of the Church League and we are appealing for NEW MEMBERS to join in the fun and fellowship of bowls.

Enquries to Maud Shaw - 02866322133 or Mobile 07720081175.

On Wednesday 5th December, a Round Robin bowls tournament was held in the Cathedral Hall in aid of the Air Ambulance. When play was completed and refreshments had been served a cheque for £225 was presented to Mrs Myrtle Irvine, a representative for Air Ambulance, by Violet & Gerry Vennard on behalf of the club. Myrtle then thanked the club members for their kind donation and informed the assembled players about the work carried out by the Air Ambulance in Northern Ireland and how important their contribution is to the emergency services in the Province.

Scouts and Guides

1st Inniskilling Scout Group
We need more leaders. If you would be willing to help out in any section please contact George Irvine 07864889672 or Bob Rowley 07871743763 or any of the leaders.

Mondays: Cubs: 6.30pm - 7.45pm; Beavers: 6.30pm - 7.45pm;  Thursdays: Scouts 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Tuesdays: Rainbows: 6.30pm - 7.30pm; Brownies: 6.30pm - 7.45pm; Guides: 6.30pm - 7.45pm
Thursdays: Scouts:  6.30pm - 8.00pm


Xplore is a relaxed, café-style venue for young people in Years 10-12. We want the young people of St Macartin’s to feel they belong to the wider church family, to know that they are valued, and to have a safe space to ask questions about faith as a teenager and young adult. We meet in the Upper Room (youth wing) of the Cathedral Halls and is open to all Confirmation candidates and others in Years 9-12. Feel free to bring a friend. It’s especially fun to catch up with the Confirmation Class of 2017 and 2018! If you have any questions, or to let us know about special requirements (dietary, accessibility), email Rev Chris at

All young people in Years 8-12 are invited to Xplore on
Monday 25th February. We meet from 7.00-9.30pm in the Upper Room, Cathedral Halls.
Please remember to bring your registration form if you haven’t done so already. Confirmation candidates, remember that you agreed as part of your registration to attend Xplore monthly as part of your preparation!

Enniskillen Rural Deanery is holding a Movie Night from
7.00-9.30pm on Friday 22nd February, in the Upper Room, Cathedral Hall. All those in Years 8-12 are welcome to come along for pizza and fun with young people from other parishes in the Rural Deanery.

Mothers' Union: Christian Care for Families.

Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families of all faiths and none through practical outreach, prayer and advocating family friendly policies within both government and public life. By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, we tackle the most urgent needs, challenging relationships and communities. Our members are not all mothers, or even all women, but are single, married, parents, grandparents or young adults who are just beginning to express their social conscience. For all 4.1 million members in 83 countries, what Mothers' Union provides is a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community through prayer, financial support and actively working at grassroots level. In St. Macartin’s we aim to have a warm welcome for all and endeavour to assist in the work of the Church both in Enniskillen and overseas. We support the work of Messy Church and see this as a vital outreach to young families in our community! Please come and join us.

The January meeting on 14th January, held in the Hilliard Room, was a service of Holy Communion celebrated by Dean Hall.
The AGM followed with Dean Hall presiding. The annual reports were presented by Hon. Secretary Sally Masterson, Hon. Treasurer Eleanor Lynn and overseas representative Jenifer Johnston. All offices were declared vacant; the elections made were Branch Leader/Enrolling member Stephanie Hamilton, Hon. Secretary Sally Masterson with Valerie Thompson assisting. Congratulations were extended to Jenifer Johnston as newly elected Hon. Treasurer with Eleanor Lynn assisting. Congratulations were also extended to Valerie Watson as newly elected Overseas Representative. Committee: Stephanie Hall, Christine Halpin, Hazel Hunter, Avril Kee, Estelle Latimer, Margaret Owens, Maud Shaw, Susan Spratt & Jeanette Wilson. The Dean & Branch Leader paid a warm tribute to outgoing Treasurer Eleanor Lynn for her valuable contribution to the Mothers' Union. The meeting closed with the Mothers’ Union prayer.

The next meeting on 11th February is an evening with Rev. Paul Thompson on his work as Prison Chaplain.

Womens World Day of Prayer

Takes place on
Friday 1st March at 8.00pm in Enniskillen Presbyterian Church.

Parish Visiting

Can you help us? The Clergy and Diocesan Pastoral Assistant are always around the parish making visits but they may not be in the right place at the right time. If you are unwell, feeling neglected or just lonely, please ring Beth in the office and one of the clergy will be delighted to call. If you know of someone who would value a clerical visit or if a parishioner has had a close bereavement please also inform Beth in the office. It is not recommended that you tell one of the clergy at the Cathedral door on a Sunday morning for there is every possibility they could forget in the midst of shaking hands with 300 people! A little written note handed to them is a safer option.

Hospital Visiting

If you or a member of your family are admitted to any hospital including the South West Acute Hospital, and you would like a visit can you please inform the Cathedral Office or a member of the clergy? Do not rely on the hospital system to inform the clergy as this may not happen. This month for example a parishioner was four weeks in a Belfast hospital and five weeks in the South West Acute Hospital before her name appeared on a hospital list and the clergy were alerted of her hospitalisation! The clergy may well be on the same ward visiting other parishioners and not be aware of a parishioner in another room!
Last updated 29th January 2019