Paul Doran (‘Down cathedral is a source of Irish and British ecclesiastical history and in need of proper funding,’ Aug 13) was saddened recently to see rain dripping through the windows of Down Cathedral.
Paul ends his letter by appealing to the British and Irish governments to facilitate ‘the much needed funding that the cathedral requires’.
One website appears to date the modern Church of Ireland cathedral to the 19th century.
The cathedral’s own website says: ‘In the late 18th century the Cathedral was restored; many of the present features including the historic box pews and magnificent pipe organ date from that time’.
An evening at the fire, with ‘Saint Patrick: Ireland’s Patron Saint’, a small paperback by the late George otto Simms, might teach a person a great deal more about Patrick than a visit to Down cathedral.
Down cathedral feels to me like a relic of colonialism; possibly built in part with tithe monies extorted from the impoverished masses, many of whom were Catholic or Dissenter.
If the current cathedral is disintegrating and leaking, that may be an honest testament to the folly of rebuilding or renovating it in the 1700s.
The use of pubic money to conserve a cathedral (by the possible burial site of a saint) will be an anathema to many.
If the Irish and British government have cash to spare they might direct it to families, childcare, housing and support for pregnant mothers.
The Christian faith rests on an empty tomb, a risen lord, and God’s love for humanity.
It is best expressed in acts of mercy and love; rather than Cathedral, Church, rectory or See House preservation.
James Hardy, Belfast