The crypt at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin reopens following a major restoration coinciding with an ecumenical liturgical festival.
A quarter of a million tourists visit Christ Church every year. It is a popular destination for visitors to Dublin as well as a venerable place of worship.
A week long international festival of Christian liturgy has opened this evening at the cathedral. Titled 'Ceiliu´radh' (the Irish word for celebration) this ecumenical conference will explore themes of music, art, architecture, theology and liturgy through public talks and tours of mediaeval Dublin, as well as seminars, workshops and worship.
Many of the events are free, and according to the cathedral’s manager Mark Bowyer the festival’s ethos is,
Inclusion and worship and celebration of the millennium.
The cathedral’s mediaeval crypt is now open to the public again, having undergone a £1.3 million restoration. Constructed started on the crypt circa 1172, around one hundred and fifty years after Christ Church itself was built.
The largest cathedral crypt in Britain or Ireland, it is home to an abundance of historical monuments and artefacts. The restoration has added another dimension to the cathedral’s community, as worshippers now meet here for coffee and a chat after services. Mark Bowyer says,
It used to be a dark, damp scary place, it’s now the showcase of the cathedral.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 June 2000. The reporter is Colm O’Callaghan.