No room to kneel at Croghan Chapel

22nd March 1856

Since the introduction of Catholic Emancipation in 1829, new churches were springing up all over the countryside to meet with the demand. Croghan's tiny chapel was too small to accommodate its congregation, most of whom were "obliged to remain outside in the yard kneeling on the wet ground ... having no covering but the canopy of heaven".


On Friday the 14th Inst., an important meeting was held in the chapel of Croghan in this county, for the purpose of taking immediate steps to improve and enlarge the present chapel. The meeting was presided over by the zealous and much respected Pastor the Very Rev. Terence Sweeny, P.P., canon of the diocese - The result was, that a Committee was formed for the purpose of organizing and getting in subscriptions to carry but the laudable views of the Pastor. Every one present felt deeply impressed with the necessity of the undertaking, and offered their warmest co-operation. The Committee adopted the following memorial, which was signed by the members present, and directed their Secretary to  send it to Guy Lloyd, Esq., Croghan.— After which the meeting adjourned Patrick’s day; - 



That the present chapel of Croghan is altogether too small to accommodate the congregation—that the people are so crowded together that a very large proportion of them cannot possibility kneel even during the most solemn part of the Divine Worship -  moreover that many are obliged to remain outside in the yard kneeling on the wet ground, with their heads bared, having no covering but the canopy of heaven.

Memorialists feel that religion and humanity demand that some effort should be made to remedy this state of things, as they deem it derogatory to the majesty of religion to have the poor of God huddled together so as not to be able to kneel down in his own Temple on  the Lord's day, and they respectfully urge that humanity is outraged leaving those who must remain in the open yard exposed to the inclemency of the weather or those who force themselves in to be sufficated in a crowded building. 

Memorialists, to remedy those crying evils, have formed themselves into committee, have entred into voluntary subscriptions, and are resolved to appeal to their fellow Parishioners, to the Landlords having property in the Parish, and if necessary to the  charitable public to get up funds to improve and enlarge the present building—but a difficulty starts in the very outset, viz the present chapel plot is too limited to admit of the necessary enlargement, 

Memorialists fondly hope and pray that you will remove this difficulty by adding a few perches (four perches will be the outside) of ground to the present plot to the rear of the chapel. Memorialists ground their confidence of the success of their prayer on the following facts, viz.—that your own Tenantry constitute far the largest portion of the Flock 2nd that as the cbnpel 'S in your own immediate neighbourhood,*you will naturally feel anxious to have it present a neat and commodious appearance to correspond with the various other tasteful improvements on your property, and finally that memorialists are ready and willingly to pay any reasonable rent that may be demanded for the additional  ground requisite. 

Memorialists will not for a moment entertain the idea of a refusal on religious grounds, however they may differ on other points, all who glory in the name of Christian, unite in relieving the necessitous and promoting the honour and glory of God, which all must admit to be advanced building Temples in his Holy Name, and memorialists as in duty bound, will ever, &c.