A specially produced book entitled St Mary’s Church of Ireland Navan Bicentenary was launched by Bishop Pat Storey, on the evening of 19th April. The richly illustrated book covers the history, monuments, records and furnishings of the church, which is celebrating 200 years of ministry and witness. The book was authored by Mr Robert Die, a member of the parish.
Canon John Clarke welcomed the large number of people attending the launch in St Mary’s Church. He congratulated parishioners from all three parishes in the Union for the way they took such good care of the fabric of their churches.
Mr Robert Dier then introduced the book, noting that the Select Vestry had asked him to complete such a publication, to help celebrate the bicentennial of St Mary’s. Paying tribute to all who had helped with the production of the book he said he had two objectives:
- To give thanks for 200 years of ministry in St Mary’s
- To provide a pictorial record of the Church.
He described his work on the publication as “a journey of discovery and a labour of love”.
Launching the book, Bishop Pat Storey said that the book was “not just a history, but demonstrated that the church had a vibrant present” and that it “wants to move forward into the future with hope”. She also said it was a description of “how the Church of Ireland has survived over centuries”.
Music has always been part of the life of St Mary’s Church. It was therefore appropriate that the evening proceeded with a fine selection of music from the choir, “A Few Bars More”.
Before those present retired for supper Mr Des Kenny, on behalf of the parish, presented Bishop Pat with a pen. This was fashioned, by Mr Bob Dier, out of an ancient piece of wood found in the church.