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Final payment made on €1.2m church 19.09.08

THE PARISH priest of Newtowncunningham Fr. Kevin O’Doherty has praised the faith and dedication of his parishioners when he announced recently that final loan repayments had been made on their landmark new Church of All Saints.
The famous chapel designed and based on St Peter’s Barque, was completed in 1999 at a cost of €1,200,000 but that has now been paid for thanks to a variety of fund-raising activities, interest-free loans and a pledge system.
“We built the church on faith, the faith of the people and that faith has been rewarded. The people have been very good, they embraced the pledge system that enabled them to contribute a sum of their own choosing to be paid off over a period of time and this system formed the bulk of the funds.”
Fr. O’Doherty said that those involved in the pledge system, either as contributors or organisers, deserved special congratulations and appreciation.”
However the pledge system was not the only means of fund raising for a project that kicked off with very little money in the kitty.
“We began with little funds because we had just paid for renovations on Killea Hall costing €55,000, the roof of Killea Church was renewed for €30,000 and the Columban Hall was renovated for €72,000.
These were substantial outlays at the time.”
Fr. O’Doherty also explained that normally the rule of thumb for building a church is that a third of the cost should be already collected before the work begins.
However, he said, costs were beginning to rise and consequently it was deemed desirable to begin immediately.
“This was made possible for two reasons, first the promise of the pledge based on the trustworthiness of the people and secondly the interest-free loans of €490,000 which gave us a base from which to begin.”
Those loans were secured from diocesan and parish sources and from parishioners and non-parishioners, representing substantial savings to the parish according to Fr O’Doherty.
And then of course there were fund-raisers, so many that it would be easy to omit one or two the PP admits if he were to try and name them all.
“There were so many hard working people who ran fund raisers, so many generous donations and contributions including ones from other denominations and from outside the community and we are very appreciative for their generous help and support.”
Fr O’Doherty also thanked the architect, builders and artists who have enhanced the church so beautifully over the years and Bishop Boyce and Monsignor Dan Carr for their help and support for the project.
The Newtown PP added that with final payments now made, attention will be turned towards the renovation of the Killea Church.
“Parishioners in that end of the parish have been very patient and we are hoping to finance these renovations to a significant degree by the sale of Killea parish hall. This would be in conjunction with the present dual pledge which will now focus exclusively on Killea,” he said. (Inishowen Independent)
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