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Remembering a Rector and War Chaplin

Postponed until a later date due to Covid 19 restrictions.

War-time France 1917 and bucolic North County Dublin – it is difficult to imagine two completely different places to work as a clergyman. However, that is what happened when Reverend Frederick Aldhouse swapped his parish in Oldtown for the battlefields of France.

A local community group The Friends of Clonmethan have been working  for some time to improve the churchyard and grounds of Saint Mary’s Church in Oldtown, the parish of Reverend Aldhouse. The church had become overgrown since its closure in 1960 but an active group of people have been working away – mowing the grass, removing ivy and restoring the entrance gates. All the work has been done against the background of Covid-19, while adhering to HSE protocols on Social Distancing.

On Friday 28th August at 7pm, Archbishop Michael Jackson will bless a new headstone to Reverend FH Aldhouse, the last resident Rector of the parish.  Also in attendance will be Rector Neal Phair from Swords Group of Parishes and Father John Keegan from Rolestown parish.  

A noted writer and poet, Reverend Aldhouse initially came to St Mary’s in 1914.  He saw service as a Chaplain in The First World War, returning to Clonmethan in 1919 where he remained as Rector until his death in August 1949. Frederick Aldhouse provided comfort to soldiers as their Padre during the Great War, to the Church of Ireland members of the village and to his neighbours and friends of all faiths.  Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Clonmethan, his final resting place is marked with a beautiful headstone inscribed with some of his poetry.

Clonmethan Church is located 750 metres from the village of Oldtown on the R122 in the direction of Naul.

By martinjquinn

I am an accounting academic, accountant and author based near Dublin, Ireland.

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