Holy Trinity, Errislannan was due to be demolished. In 1961 "The Friends of St Flannan's" was founded by Maurice O'Connell, Donal Brooks and Rex Allen to repair and maintain the church for future generations


Written by Stephanie Brooks in 1962

Doldrums and Revival

For the past 50 years the church in Errislannan had served only a handful; two elderly ladies, Janie and Edith Heather, were the only parishioners actually living on the peninsula. They, devout Christians of great faith, loved and served this little church, and welcomed to their manor home all those who worshipped there. With their death a few years ago, the church was closed and was to be demolished.  It had served its generation.
To some of us with summer cottages in the vicinity it was unthinkable that the church should go. So, with the approval and support of the Bishop of the Diocese, a Committee was formed consisting entirely of lay men and women, with the object of raising funds to keep the church in repair. The Representative Body of the Church of Ireland readily agreed to the church continuing to be used during the summer months, provided it would no longer be a financial burden.

There is a legend that in the seventh century, St. Flannan founded an Abbey in Errislannan - the ruins of an abbey are to be seen in the grounds of Errislannan Manor. The name "The Friends of St. Flannan's" was chosen; the members did not constitute a vestry, and it was felt a distinctive name would avoid possible confusion.
Lack of funds in the previous half century had left the fabric in a very dilapidated condition, and the limited means at the disposal of the Committee in the first few years allowed for patching, but no more lasting repairs.

Holy Trinity Church

New Fields of Service

With the opening up of Connemara as a tourist area, the church has found a new generation to serve. It contributes much to those holidaying in the area. In this modern age, with all its bustle and stress, a vacation in the West, amidst beautiful and peaceful surroundings, allows one, as it were, to "re-charge the batteries" both spiritually and physically, and in an age of diminishing church-going, this church supplies a meeting-place for those so interested. The church is at present open during the months of July and August, and a cottage is supplied for visiting clergymen and their families. It is, however, hoped to extend this period at a later date. The congregation increases each year, and on occasions the church is packed to capacity, with "standing room only." In the tradition of the early mission, the congregation's physical needs are not neglected, and on the occasion of the annual Friends of St. Flannan's Service each August, the entire congregation is invited to a Fork Supper at Errislannan manor -the summer home of the Chairman of the Friends of St. Flannan's.

inside church

Challenge of Faith

During the winter before last, south-westerly gales stripped a 'large portion of the roof, and it was subsequently found to be beyond repair; the rotten timbers no longer held the nails securing the heavy slates. This left no alternative but to re-roof or close. There was much heart- searching. Could the funds be raised? And if so, was it morally right to
spend so much money on a "summer" church, bearing in mind the struggle of so many parish churches in the West to survive? After much thought it was decided that the church in Errislannan should continue to serve.

Funds have been collected, money borrowed from the Bank, and the Contractors have commenced to re-roof with new timbers and slates. With no central funds to fall back on, the Committee have made this act of faith, believing that their members, aided by the generosity of kindred hearts in many places, subscribe liberally to clear the debt, and leave the church secure structurally for this generation.

church without roof church without roof 2
In the year 1919 Sir John Alcock, and Sir Arthur 'Whitten-Brown left Newfoundland in a Vickers-Vimy biplane, for the first ever crossing of the Atlantic. A feat of great courage and endurance. On the summit of Errislannan there is a memorial commemorating their landing in the vicinity. Nearby is the church, itself a monument to the courage and love of those who founded it and those who sustained it in its darkest hour.