New book on Holy Cross Abbey restoration

Holycross, The Awakening of the Abbey, by Willie Hayes, will be launched on Wednesday, November 23, in St Michael’s Community Hall, Holycross, at 7.30 p.m.

Holycross, The Awakening of the Abbey, by Willie Hayes, will be launched on Wednesday, November 23, in St Michael’s Community Hall, Holycross, at 7.30 p.m.

The author extends an open invitation to parishioners and all who revere the abbey to the event.

This new publication deals mainly with the restoration of the abbey church in the 1970s. The staff that took on the great challenge of restoring it is also well recorded, as is the huge community involvement on the part of the parish. The author, who was the curate in the parish during the late 1960s and the ’70s, was himself deeply involved in the events that led to the courageous undertaking and in all the main aspects of the work, including fund-raising and publicity. As such he is eminently qualified to record the historic achievement from a personal as well as a community perspective.

Willie’s text and copious photographs capture the magnitude of the task that the restoration of the 12th/15th century church presented and how it was all accomplished by local craftsmen and workers. He also highlights the parish involvement in the decision to restore the church, in the massive fund-raising drive, and in preparing for and celebrating the official opening of the beautifully restored building.

The later restoration of the west and east wings of the abbey, and the establishment of the riverside Prayer Garden are also included. Woven in as well are aspects of parish life and happenings in the mid and late 20th century. Holycross, The Awakening of the Abbey will serve as an important record, especially for parishioners, the families of the restoration staff, and all who cherish Holycross. The launching of this important publication is timely when there is still a strong sense of hurt and assault in the parish over the insolent and outrageous theft of the abbey’s most sacred relics and reliquaries.