We were going to the Robbie Williams concert in the Odyssey on the 14th June and as we were early, we decided to have a quick tour around Belfast first. We arrived to St Anne's Cathedral and we were 15 minutes too late! It was closed. I could see another church from the distance and we decided to continue to walk up Donegall Street and realised it was a church and was Roman Catholic - the church of St Patrick. There were two men outside the church and were very welcoming. The church was lovely decorated. There is lovely nave shrines to the sides. One the right hand side is a Shrine to St Anthony of Padua with a first class relic. On the left is a valuable tiptych which was presented in 1917 to the church by the painter, Sir John Lavery. The tiptych is called "Madonna of the Lakes" and the two men told us that it is worth £4 million. It is behind glass and it is alarmed.
On October 12th 1995, there was a catastrophic fire which destroyed much of the church only a few items survived the fire. The church was reopened by Bishop Patrick Walsh on October 5th 1997. They are still fundraising to try to recoup the cost of rebuilding the church.
This is taken from their website:
The Parish of Saint Patrick sits on the northern side of the City, stretching from the Crumlin and Antrim Roads to the Docks and City Centre with a population of over 7,000 parishioners. Our parish was part of the original Catholic Parish of Belfast, and so we hold many of the sacramental records for the whole city from 1798. Today the parish welcomes a large community, both young and old, of resident parishioners, mid-week workers and people with an attachment to Saint Patrick's at our daily Masses. The celebration of the Eucharist is central to our life as a parish, a worshipping community of faith.
The next time I am in Belfast, I will definitely return
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