Saint Patrick might be known widely for the foundation of his see in Armagh, of which he was the first Bishop. But it is predated by his legacy in Clogher. To mark Saint Patrick’s Day, archivist Jack Johnston gave a talk on the history of Saint Macartan’s Anglican Cathedral. He pointed out that Saint Patrick came to Clogher and established a church there under Macartan before he went to Armagh, which is now the seat of the all-Ireland Primate in both the Church of Ireland and Catholic churches. The see of Clogher was founded by Saint Patrick, who appointed one of his household, Macartan, as first bishop in 454. Macartan was the ‘strong man’ of Patrick, who established the church in Clogher and spread the gospel in Tyrone and Fermanagh. It is said that Saint Brigid, Macartan’s niece, was present at the founding of the see.
The Precentor of Saint Macartan’s Cathedral Chapter, Reverend Noel Regan, who is originally from Sligo, organised a series of events to mark Saint Patrick’s Day, starting with the weekly Sunday morning Holy Communion service. There was a Lenten lunch to raise funds for the Us missionary organisation. It was followed by some musicians playing in the Cathedral, including a chance to hear the wonderful organ played by Glenn Moore, Director of Music at the other (later) diocesan Cathedral, St Macartin’s in Enniskillen.
The day was rounded off with an ecumenical evensong, featuring the choir of the Cathedral group of parishes and members of the choir from St Patrick’s Catholic church in Clogher, to a setting by Thomas Tallis. Canon Regan said, “As members of the Church of Ireland we have the great privilege of worshipping in some of the most significant and important sites in the Christian history of this land. In Clogher we have a fine Cathedral which stands on one of the most important Christian sites in the area. We are delighted to open our doors that others might come and together with us learn something of our common heritage and enjoy the surroundings of this holy and special place”.