26 October 2019
By Bryan Smyth
The Carrigrohane Union of Parishes is excited to announce the start of renovation work on their building on Old Fort Road in Ballincollig. The building, empty for many years, will have a new lease of life as a community and parish centre. The Carraig Centre aims to offer people of all ages, different faiths and none, many diverse opportunities to experience belonging and hope in Ballincollig.
The Carraig Centre will house community and parish activities. Meeting and event spaces will be available to rent by community groups.
One parish group that will move into the renovated Carraig Centre is Sparks, a Friday morning get-together for all pre-school aged children and their carers. Jessica Kindler, the coordinator of Sparks, remarked, “Many families have enjoyed Sparks over the years, but getting to our parish centre in Carrigrohane has been a real challenge for some. We’re excited to offer a warm welcome in a bright, cheerful venue that’s within walking distance for many young families in Ballincollig.”
The Carraig Centre will also host an informal Christian worship service on Sunday mornings. Matt Gould, youth worker at Carrigrohane Union of Parishes, said, “Our Sunday AM gatherings let us hear and respond to the Christian gospel, develop our faith, and invite friends to consider good news of Jesus.” Cian Jenkinson, a recent graduate of Gaelcolaiste Choilm, remarked that the Sunday AM meetings demonstrate that church can be fun. A strong focus on young people will be an important element of The Carraig Centre’s operation, building on over 10 years of successful youth work in the union’s existing premises.
Canon Ian Jonas, the rector of Carrigrohane Union of Parishes, part of the Church of Ireland, explained the name for the new centre. “‘Carraig’ nods to the parish’s roots in Carrigrohane, but more importantly it emphasizes that Christians build their hope, faith, and lives on Christ, who is our solid rock.”
It is expected that construction will take six months. The members of Carrigrohane Union of Parishes look forward to welcoming their friends and neighbours to The Carraig Centre when renovation work finishes in early summer 2020.
Carrigrohane Union is a union of churches in Carrigrohane, Blarney, and Inniscarra (which includes Ballincollig). Each of the three congregations seeks to be centred on the life and teaching of Jesus, to grow in his love together, and to express his love in action.