Altar at St Bride's Church bearing a Brigid's Cross

Honouring St Brigid of Kildare

On February 1st, St Brigid’s Day, we hosted an event for the Irish Chaplaincy in London in celebration of St Brigid of Kildare, our patron saint, otherwise known as St Bride.

The programme of words and music included texts in both English and Irish. St Brigid of Kildare and the abbesses who succeeded her were renowned as peacemakers in early Ireland. Those gathering to celebrate the inspirational saint listened to reflections given by the Irish Chaplaincy about her life and work, and about women and peace-making.

All gathered joined in with some musical items led by Eddie Gilmore on the guitar.

The service was reported by RTE, Ireland’s National Public Service Media. You can watch the report here.

We were honoured that the Mayor of Kildare was in attendance together with members of our own Guild of St Bride which was first established in the fourteenth century.

Lord Black of Brentwood, Master of the Guild, spoke to RTE about the symbolism of the Guild medallion which all members wear: “It has the Celtic cross in the middle which reminds us of our special affinity and special friendship with all those in Ireland and it has the perpetual light of St Brigid.”

St Bride’s has been on a journey to rediscover its Celtic heritage in recent years. The Rector, Canon Alison Joyce, spoke of how we are learning ways to weave together the themes of peace, unity, integrity and a commitment to the environment which St Brigid embodied.

From left: Mayor of Kildare, Fintan Brett; David Mogey, Chairperson, Into Kildare; Aine Mangan, CEO, Into Kildare; The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce, Rector of St Bride’s; Lord Black of Brentwood, Master of the Guild of St Bride; Michael Lonergan, Embassy of Ireland, Great Britain

The church was presented with a sconce – a wall-mounted candle holder – generously donated by Into Kildare, the tourism board of County Kildare.

It was sculpted from ancient bog oak by the artist Brian O’Loughlin and includes a Brigid Cross on the front. This wonderful piece of art can be seen mounted on the wall in the Crypt Chapel.

This year, Ireland celebrated its first national holiday to mark the feast of St Brigid.

The Irish Chaplaincy, Into Kildare and all at St Bride’s are keen to spread word of our patron’s ministry around the world, and build on the links established between us at this event, ahead of the 1500th anniversary next year of Brigid’s death.

Posted On: Tuesday 14th February, 2023

congregation sitting for service


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