Strengthening our Celtic connections

Here at St Bride’s, Fleet Street we have been rediscovering our Celtic heritage in recent years.

St Brigid of Kildare, our patron saint, is the patroness saint of Ireland. Born in the fifth century, she founded an Abbey in Kildare which is now the site of St Brigid’s Cathedral.

This year, Ireland celebrated its first national holiday to mark the feast of St Brigid. Here in London, we hosted a service to mark that occasion and celebrate our inspirational patron. (Read Honouring St Brigid of Kildare.)

These ties have continued to strengthen. Last week, our Rector, Canon Alison Joyce, was a guest at a service in St Brigid’s Cathedral at which The Revd Isobel Jackson was instituted as its first woman Dean by Bishop Pat Storey, herself the first woman bishop in the Church of Ireland.

The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce, The Most Reverend Patricia Storey and The Revd Isobel Jackson

During her visit, Alison was given an informal tour of the cathedral (pictured above). It is one of the most significant and oldest ecclesiastical sites in Ireland, founded in 480, only a few years after St Patrick established a church at Armagh.

The star treatment continued with an introduction to the history of Kildare at the Kildare Town Heritage Centre, including their Legends of Kildare immersive virtual reality tour telling the story of “Ancient Times”. Watch the trailer.

Professor Mary Corcoran – educator, researcher, author and editor – gave a tour of Maynooth University where she is Professor of Sociology.

Ireland’s fastest growing university, Maynooth celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022. However, it traces its origins further back in time to the foundation of the Royal College of St Patrick in 1795.

Professor Corcoran is also Chair of Brigid 1500 which is marking the 1500th anniversary of Brigid’s death in 2024 with a programme of events to celebrate and commemorate her life and legacy.

The trip was punctuated by lashings of hospitality from gravity defying 99s and a legendary afternoon tea and also included a visit to the award-winning Irish Racehorse Experience – a journey through the rich history and heritage of Irish racehorse breeding, training and racing.

Posted On: Monday 26th June, 2023

congregation sitting for service


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