St Gobhan’s Church, Seagoe Parish For EHOD 2019
Sep 14 2019 - Sep 15 2019
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46 Seagoe Road, Portadown, County Armagh,
(028) 38 350583
The original St Gobhan’s church in Seagoe Cemetery is thought to date from 504AD.
The original St Gobhan’s church in Seagoe Cemetery is thought to date from 504AD & is undoubtedly one of the most ancient Christian settlements in Ireland.
This old church served its purpose for worship and as the graves encroached more closely on the old walls it was suggested in the early 1800s by the then Rector, Rev George Blacker that there was a need for a new church on an entirely different site. The first stone of the present church was laid on 1st June 1814 and the building was completed and consecrated for worship on 28th June 1816. It consisted of a simple oblong 70ft by 30ft without a chancel and had a flat plastered ceiling which over the years became more and more obscured by a steady increasing gallery which by repeated extensions eventually overlooked half the nave. The tower existed at the west end, a bell was installed in 1860 and the only improvements in a space of seventy four years was the replacement in 1862 of the old square pews such as one can find in Downpatrick Cathedral. Dean Dawson had a vision of something worthy for the House of God and employed leading architect of the day Thomas Drew RHA to transform the interior by sweeping out the gallery, lengthening the church by the additional chancel, adding a new Vestry and an organ chamber, converting the existing vestry into a porch and building a new south isle. The greatest embellishment of all was the construction of the open timbered nave roof in place of the flat ceiling. The foundation stone for the new chancel was laid on 11th April 1880 by Baroness von Stiegikitz and reopened for public worship on 7th August 1891.
No major changes have taken place in the church since 1891 but in the succeeding century there have been steady improvements, development and maintenance which has been a loving concern of the parishioners.
In the last five years the the church roof has been replaced and recently the tower has been refurbished and an electric mechanism fitted to the bell.