allenwood revised interior_perspectiveExciting new plans for Allenwood Church unveiled

The exciting, modified plans for the renovation of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Allenwood, have been unveiled. Photo-realistic images (by architect Chiarrai Gallagher) can be viewed in this article, and are also on display in the three churches of the parish.

With a mindful eye on budget, a much-reduced scheme for the renovation of the church has been attained. The ‘Phase 1’ proposal will concentrate primarily on the main body of the church, within which the Sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated. The essence of the overall 2009 proposal has been retained, with the relocation of the sanctuary area to the north and the re-introduction of the much-missed processional aisle.

The proposal will make a significant difference to the interior of Allenwood Church, and will create a much more welcoming, reflective and prayerful space for all.

In order to assist parishioners with understanding the proposed development work on the Church of the Immaculate Conception, a public meeting will be held after 6.30pm Mass on Saturday 24th March -- either in the church or in the day-care centre. Mr Colm Hassett will explain the plans and will answer questions from parishioners at this meeting. A good attendance is anticipated.

Parishioners should note the following important information -- starting on Saturday 28th April, weekend Masses will be celebrated in Allenwood GFC's clubhouse; while the celebration of morning Masses will take place in John Glennon's Funeral Home.

The priests of the parish wish to extend their sincere thanks to Allenwood GFC and John Glennon's Funeral Home for facilitating the parish in these matters during the renovation period.

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View of the altar and redesigned sanctuary area. Note the modern altar, the positioning of the tabernacle and ambo, the use of the existing Cross, the stained glass rose window and the seating at both sides of the altar (All pix: Chiarrai Gallagher, architect)

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View from the balcony towards the altar and sanctuary. The revised ceiling is simpler, compared with the originally proposed vaulted ceiling design, which reduces the renovation cost significantly. The proposed re-opening of the gallery with existing access stairs will prove invaluable for larger gatherings and will comfortably seat an additional 265 people

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Partial view of the seating area towards the top of the church, looking towards the new altar and sanctuary area. The installation of a large circular stained glass ‘rose window’ has been proposed for the north wall, high above the sanctuary, with the artwork themed on the Eucharist (which will echo the hugely significant International Eucharistic Congress that takes place in Ireland this year). Also, notice the positioning of the Stations of the Cross, and the statues of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady

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View from the back of the church, looking toward the altar and sanctuary, with the baptismal font in the foreground. The baptismal font has been given its rightful place in a prominent location near the main entrance/welcoming area – heavy with symbolism, as Baptism itself is the ‘entrance’ sacrament. It will relate strongly to the altar/sanctuary area through its positioning, design and use of materials

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View towards the back of the church from the sanctuary area, with the altar and ambo in the foreground. Although financial constraints do not allow for the construction of the originally proposed vaulted ceiling at this time, removing the existing flat, suspended ceiling and reverting to the original will prove a pleasing interim and will work well with the revised scheme