Tag Archives: church

Teach Phobail (Home of the community)

That happy moment on Sunday morning around ten. It is lively on the road leading to the church. Little groups of people are coming from all directions heading for Mass. Opposite the church there is a couple of man sitting on the wall talking with the ones standing against the wall of the church yard. All are waiting for Mass to be read.

church aran islands

Teach Phobail

Whether it is time for Mass or any early morning or just before sunset, at noon or later in the day, it really does not matter to me, I just love to go inside.

inis meáin

I love to go inside any time

With saying this I actually mean the outside part as well. Entering the church yard for example, coming through the iron, elegantly forged gate I am facing the old bell tower keeping watch over the grave of the very youngest. Once the bell was rung every time before Mass. I wonder how it was like. And would the sound be heard at any place on Inis Meáin? The sculpture of the redeemer above the wooden front door I mostly meet in a glance. The rendering is simplicity itself. Thrilling. It gives me faith and trust: it is good to go inside.


Sculpture of the Redeemer

Once in the portal, instead of using the double door which is right in front of me, the side door is usually used. The surprise which is still hidden for my eye sight at this moment, might be even bigger once it actually meets me…

As soon as I have pushed the heavy side door open, there is that special smell, a smell of heartily welcome is coming towards me. I enter a lovely space. There are long wooden benches put in rows on both sides from the middle. They are made for large families and there will always be enough space for the one who comes late; just by squeezing in a bit. The dark brown ceiling above is made out of oak which is given a lovely golden shine by the sun, just now.  When I walk towards the front I see on both sides lovely glass stained windows and so is the panel above the altar.

stained glass window

Glass stained window of Maria Magdala

windows aran islands

Glass stained windows

Just as in building the church itself there is put so much love in the design and in the actual implementation of the windows.

This church, Teach Phobail (lit: home of the community) in Irish, is really an haven, a shelter for any one and most of all it is the heart of Inis Meáin where the community can meet in prayer.

inis meain

Heart of Inis Meáin

Slán go fóill,

Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.

Anamchara logo

Anamchara retreat. Click the image for more.



Inishmaan Church

The following is an excerpt from an email received today. Anyone that can answer the question please comment on this post. Thanks.

Dear Sir or Madame 

I was wondering if you had any information on who carved the altar of the Church on Inishmaan. I have been told that my grandfather John Burke who was a stonemason worked on the altar. Perhaps you can advise as to whether any records exist that reflect that information.

Thanks very much for your time and any help you may be able to provide. 
Emily Burke”

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